Suck. Bang. Blow. A Vacation Story

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Before anyone gets the wrong idea, Suck Bang Blow is a popular biker bar in Murrells Inlet South Carolina where my family recently went on vacation. But, as I was thinking about vacation it seemed like a good descriptor.  There was the suck – it’s a long drive and there are multiple drivers who don’t understand some basic rules of the road.  There was the bang – the fun parts of vacation like being at the pool and beach.  And the blow – um yeah, I needed to think this through better.

For all you technical readers, suck bang blow is a motorcycle term to describe the cycles of an internal combustion engine:  suck in the air and fuel mixture, it bangs when it’s compressed and ignited and then it blows it out the exhaust.

(Alice wanted us to leave this space open – see below)

Teagan is helping me write this blog, and we’ve tried several times to write all the stuff that happened and we decided the easiest way is the “Alphabet” vacation blog:

A – is for Alice.  Alice Flagg is the most famous ghost along the Grand Strand.  You can Google her name and get all the info about her history.  We decided to visit her grave at the All Saints Cemetery in Pawley’s Island and play along with the legend by leaving rings at her gravesite.  My ring flipped over after I put it on her grave.  Dawson is convinced now she’s going to haunt us.

B – is for Baskin Robbins.  Have you ever been really excited when you’re on vacation because they have a store that you used to have where you lived but now you don’t?  You’re super excited to go there.  Baskin Robbins broke my heart.  I was super psyched to get classic chocolate chip ice cream.  We arrived at 8:59 pm and by the time we got out of the cars and found the correct door we walked in at 9:00 pm to be told (angrily – I might add) “WE’RE CLOSED!”  Um… excuse me?  First, your sign says 10:00 pm.  Second, the guy who walked in literally 30 seconds before us you’re helping.  B is also for bitch.  And Bu-bye because now I don’t plan on going to Baskin Robbins – ever.

C – is for Cardinal.  On Sunday a pretty red cardinal landed on the fence around the pool.  Hi mom! Glad you could join us.  The same cardinal also saved us from the scary evil squirrels that lived in the tree in the front yard – that or they were battling over the weird seed/pod things the tree was dropping.  I prefer the story where the cardinal was protecting us though.cardinals

D – is for Dead Dog Saloon.  This is that one place you find on vacation that you fall in love with.  It was great food, great service, great location, great atmosphere.  So great we went there twice.  The fun part was the first night, to win scavenger hunt points, Dave and Sara both ordered in fake accents which cracked the waiter up.  We really should have gotten video.  The waiter was from Indiana too, like he used to work at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Southport.

E – is for Exit 21B on I26 in South Carolina.  It is the Bermuda Triangle of this trip.  First, it has a drive thru only Chick-Fil-A (like a Rally’s).  Second, if you get stuck in the Chick-Fil-A drive thru line, there is no getting out.  Third, there is an A&W/LJS that is nearly impossible to get to unless you make several illegal driving moves.  Fourth, the A&W/LJS is sloooooooower than snails.  So after all these issues, you would totally stop there on the way home too, right?  One car got stuck in the Chick-Fil-A lot again.  One car made multiple illegal U-turns to get to the Wendy’s then back on the interstate.  LJS ended up being speedy compared to Wendy’s.  And, nobody’s hamburger was cooked.

F – is for Fish.  Fish were hard to come by, except for the bait.  PS you should never accidentally leave bait out in the car port.  Teagan, however, cast out one time and caught a fish.  Of course she did!  Total fish count this trip:  3 and one blue crab that got away.

G – is for Golf Cart.  We stayed in a “golf cart community.”  People take these things seriously.  They were tricked out with stereo systems and all kind of bells and whistles.  As a matter of fact, golf cart with subs is on the next scavenger hunt list. (yes, we saw one) Also, the Garden City Mini Mart which is smaller than my living room, but handily had a Styrofoam cooler to put the fish in.

H – is for Hypothermia.  Which is what you got when you jumped in the pool.  It was not heated.  I’m guestimating that it was somewhere in the 70’s.  Teagan thought it was fine.  Here’s the thing I don’t understand.  I was happy sitting on the side, with no intention of ever getting in, but when my sister challenged me to jump in, I jumped.  Why is sister peer pressure even a thing?

I – is for Ice Cream.  After the Baskin Robbins incident we did find an awesome local ice cream place that was ACTUALLY open until 10 like they advertised.  It was called Meyers Ice Cream Parlor and it had about 1000 options to make all your ice cream dreams a reality!  Sadly no one heard Jacque request we bring her back a cup of chocolate chip.

J – is for “Just a little way down the road.”  This is how Kim described the beach shop that was nearly a mile and a half away when she suggested everyone walk there to buy beach chairs.  Luckily, Dave and I didn’t go because about an hour into the excursion we got a call to come pick everyone up.

K – is for Dachshund Kisses.  For a minimum of two hours after picking the dogs up from the All-Inclusive Resort for Puppies you receive aggressive dachshund kisses.

L – is for the Lewis and Clark Bridge.  The cable-stayed bridge at the Indiana/Kentucky border that crosses the Ohio River on what is or will soon be called I265.  We crossed it on the way home during 25 mph sustained winds.  Yep, just gonna leave that up to everyone’s imagination.  Shit. Got. Real.

M – Is for Marsh Walk.  The Marsh walk at Murrell’s Inlet was the most popular place on vacation.  There are a lot of restaurants, the Lazy Gator gift shop, a seafood market, and Perry’s bait and tackle shop.  We spent a lot of time here.

N – is for Fish Net.  Dustin wanted a net to cast out to catch fish.  A guy down the beach had one and was successfully catching fish.  Note:  When researching “where to buy fish net” you will be directed to the local lingerie store.

O – is for Western Omelet.  Holiday Inn has not mastered the Western Omelet.

P – is for Mr. Pickles.  Who, thanks to his “voice” (aka Teagan) asked daily in his nasal baby voice “How many more sleeps until you come home?” And, “I’m scared you’re leaving me here poreber.” (F’s and V’s are hard to say).

long nose

Q – is for Quahog (aka clam).  Sadly, the only reason I know that quahog is a clam is because of Family Guy.  Happily, I was able to answer an $400 Jeopardy question correctly because of my knowledge of quahog.  Also, we saw a sign for clamshell recycling on this trip, which may also make it to the next scavenger hunt.

R – is for Rap Snacks.  Rap Snacks are chips featuring moderately popular rap stars on the bag.  We found them in The Middle of Nowhere South Carolina at a gas station time forgot.

S – is for Stars.  Teagan attempted to use her telescope, but we had trouble with the focus.  Also, you’re supposed to set it up 2 hours before dusk and have it focused and ready, not “Oh hey it’s dark and the moon is cool let’s set up the telescope”

T – is for Towel.  Sara wanted to learn how to snap a towel.  She did.  And she snapped it on Kim.

U – is for U-Haul.  We may need one for the next family vacation.  As a whole my family would not fair well if we had to pack for an emergency evacuation.

V – is for Vacation.  Duh!

W – is for Wahlburgers.  There were burgers, tater tots, grilled cheese …. no t-shirts though☹.

X – is for Xbox.  The boys love playing Xbox on vacation.  It’s not my favorite thing on vacation but that’s another battle for another blog.

Y – is for Yuengling.  Beer. Is. Good.  I mean after all its vacation!

Z – is for Zombie Cat II.  Stray cats seem to find us in South Carolina.  This one was a black cat lurking in the shadows and scaring the begeezus out of Dawson one night.  I thought he was seeing things until I saw it a few days later by the golf cart rental place.  He’s convinced Alice sent it.  I’m convinced it was hungry and found the bait they accidentally left in the car port.

 

And there you have the Suck. Bang. Blow of vacation.

(Yep still haven’t come up with anything clever for blow).

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What a veteran mom learned about Childhood Cancer this month

soccer net

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

If you search my blog from 2007 to the present, there isn’t a blog sometime in September that doesn’t start with that sentence.  It’s usually followed by a lot of facts or figures or rants about how underfunded childhood cancer research is.

Not this year.  This year I’d like to share what my daughter taught me about childhood cancer.

In late June my daughter came to me and explained she wanted to try out for the school soccer team.  I’m not sure who reading this has ever watched soccer but despite its classification of being a non-contact sport it’s a very contact-oriented sport.  It’s not like she came to me and asked to run on the track team or swim on the swim team.  Not to diminish track or swimming in any way, they are both strenuous sports.  But neither track nor swimming involves a 5’7” 135-pound girl running full speed at you attempting to take a ball away without using her hands.

Thinking she would be discouraged I told her she needed to find out more about practices and try-outs.  Less than an hour later she told me they practice every night from 5:30-7:00 and try outs are on July 31.  This was a Friday, she told me she planned on starting the following Monday.

I sat at my desk trying madly to come up with excuses not to let her play.  She had played up until she was 12 and quit when the girls started getting a little more aggressive and a lot bigger than her.  I stopped short of just saying NO and I tried to gently point out the challenges she would have to overcome.  I should mention at this point that she’s had 2 brain surgeries and multiple surgeries on her left arm, hand, leg and foot to correct some of long-term effects from the brain surgeries.  What long-term effects?  Oh… yeah, she’s hemiplegic on her left side.  And she has NO peripheral vision on her left side either.

I gently reminded her that she would need to run, and she hadn’t been working out regularly – so she should consider that.  In my mind I was recalling my son playing soccer in high school where he ran a minimum of a mile daily all summer long including when we were on vacation.  She put on some running shoes and came back, fairly quickly and dejected.  She had tried to run around our neighborhood which is exactly 1 mile around the outer roads and she said she couldn’t.  I told her she could cry for 20 minutes and she needed to pick herself up and move on.  Secretly, I was kind of hoping that she would see this obstacle as too much to overcome.

She did exactly what I told her to do.  She cried for about 20 minutes, came out of her room with shin guards and cleats and told me to get in the car because practice started in 30 minutes.  Sigh….. OK I’ll take her to practice.  We arrived and only a handful of girls were there, a few more arrived a little later.  The coach, Sarah (who is amazing – by the way), showed up and started running drills.  I watched, anticipating that at some point she would realize she was in over her head, but she kept pushing on drill after drill.  And not to diminish her success, but I was expecting soccer like I had experienced with my son – cut throat competitive “take-no-prisoners” travel soccer which spilled into the suburban high school level as well.  This was a group of high school girls who thought it would be fun to play soccer – which in all honesty is what school sports should be.  On senior night, every one of the girls was going to college with a scholarship for music or art or their 4.6 grade point average – none of them mentioned continuing their soccer career.

She was super excited after practice, talking non-stop and when I asked if she wanted to go back tomorrow she said “YES!”  So, we practiced, night after night up to the day of tryouts.  Sarah had talked to her about her limitations and they came to an understanding about what she was and wasn’t capable of doing.  Their school is a small urban college prep academy with a focus on fine arts and music – so they only have a Varsity Girls soccer team.  But the coach is a heads-up kind of lady who realized that she could have the underclassmen play on a “B” team and the upperclassmen play on the “A” team and the “B” players could gain experience as necessary.  Teagan, with all her hard work and challenges, made the Varsity “B” team playing defensive back.

I was proud, but still very nervous and skeptical.  Sure, the girls on her team weren’t “do or die” soccer players but what about the teams they would play against? I have nail bitten my way through several games while she plays about 10-20 minutes as a relief for her “A” team counterpart.  And she’s good, she knows where to play on the field, she doesn’t back down from a challenge – she has proved me wrong.  For all I know that has been her motivation the whole time.  And she loves it and she’s having a great time being part of the team.

My “learning moment” however didn’t really come until August 31st.  I received a group email from her coach stating that she had been nominated by a teammate to be the “Man of the Match.”  She didn’t win because she scored a goal or blocked a goal or for that matter even set foot on the field.  One of the upperclassmen’s locker had jammed and she couldn’t get to her jersey, shin guards or cleats.  She gave the upperclassmen her uniform, shin guards and cleats so that she could play.  Her coach pointed out in the email that she always gives 100%, never misses games or practices and was “a stellar example of a perfect player.”

I cried a bit that morning. There were happy tears because I was proud of her for her accomplishment.  But there were guilty tears too.  I was ashamed that I had assumed she wasn’t capable of achieving this goal because of her disability.  In all fairness I was mostly concerned for her safety because she trips over air on a good day and you can literally be standing next to her on her left side and she can’t see you.  Neither of which lend to success in a sport like soccer.  But she was determined, and she showed me and a lot of people she’s got a lot of resolve packed into a very small package.

I guess I didn’t learn anything “new.”  Mostly, I forgot that she is more than just her brain tumor.  She is not defined by the tumor she had when she was five and all the damage it left behind.  She is in control of who she is and who she’s going to be. She is writing her story and the tumor was a chapter but it’s not the whole book.

I won’t forget that anymore, I promise.

 

PS.. really not loving the “soccer mom” title again, jus’ sayin’

 

From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Professional Competitive Eater

picles hot dog 2

Hi everyone, sorry I’ve been out for so long.  It’s a busy life being a long dog.  Plus, Bam is the only one who knows how to log on to mom’s laptop and he and I got into a bit of a snit over my chew toy – he doesn’t seem to understand it’s my job to take out the squeaker.

I’ve been looking for a new career lately.  Back up singing was a little harder than I thought it would be.  Britney still loves me, but the choreography was hard with my stubby legs.  I also recently found out that stubby legs make it hard to do the Kiki challenge.  Kiki (that’s my nickname for Killer) do you love me? Of course you do, everybody loves me.

Anyway, no worries I’ve found the perfect new career.  This morning on TV they were talking to Joey Chestnut about an ice cream eating contest at the Indiana State Fair.  This guy’s whole job is to eat more pints of ice cream than any other guy in the contest.  Uh hello??? Have you ever met a dachshund who can’t eat three times it’s weight in one sitting?

I looked up this Joey guy on Google and found out on the 4th of July he ate a record 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  PPHHBTTT! I can totally do that, I’m just sayin’ I could probably eat 75.  I mean I’m totally built to consume hot dogs, I even LOOK like a hot dog.  Even though Bam says he rocked the look first and I’m just copying, whatev’s Bam. (Was he really that little?)

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There’re all kinds of eating contests, not just ice cream and hot dogs.  Tacos, Pizza, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Strawberry Shortcakes, Oysters (um… what are oysters?), Sandwiches – the list is endless.  There’s even a Major League Eating organization.  Mom’s going to send in my application next week.  Some of their upcoming contests are: Cheese Curds, Gyoza (I have no idea what that is, but I’m willing to eat anything), Buffalo Wings (YES! Dawson wants to enter that one too), Cheeseburgers, Tamales, Pork Roll Sandwiches, Moon Pies, and Catalina Croquetas.  I’m not sure what Catalina Croquetas are either, but mom said we can go because it’s at Calle Ocho in Miami.  I guess its Cuban food?!?!

I didn’t see doughnuts on the list, I would like doughnuts.

Mom said Teagan won an eating contest once.  She challenged one of the firefighters at dad’s station to a HoHo eating contest.  She ate 13 in 15 minutes.  She doesn’t eat HoHo’s anymore.  The sight of them makes her nauseous.

In other news I was playing hide and seek with RJ the raccoon that lives under our mini barn.  I found him hiding in the trashcan but he wouldn’t come out.  That’s not how the rules work.  I was too short to get into the trashcan so I did what any respectable hide and seek player would do.  I went inside and got my big brother and big sister to help.  Mom got really mad at us for trying to knock over the trash can.  Then she got even madder when she heard RJ inside.  She made Princess, Bam and me go inside and then she let RJ out of the trashcan. Not cool mom, not cool…. That’s not how you play hide and seek.  Now RJ won’t come and play anymore.

my friend RJ <——That’s my friend RJ

Teagan made the soccer team at school.  I’m totally going to be the mascot.  I just have to find an Achaean outfit and get over my fear of soccer balls.

achaens

Hmm that might be harder than I thought! Where do you get a broom helmet and scary creepy face shield?  Too bad she doesn’t go to Frankfort High School,  home of the fighting Hot Dogs.  I mean for real I need to apply to be their mascot!

Well, I’ve got to go practice for the next hot dog eating contest.  I’ve just got to figure out how to get mom to let me eat 75 hot dogs.  Bam says he can eat 76.  Maybe when you were younger buddy, but I got this now.  It’s a young pup’s game.  Oh, I better be nice to him or he won’t log me on the laptop again. Um…. Yeah Bam, buddy you got this!

Peace, Love and hotdogs…..

Mr. Pickles

The hunt for Red October

scavenger-hunt

Sorry guys, Mr. Pickles is taking a break from blogging this week, he’s busy working on his next career goal.

Since it’s summer I thought I’d share something my family does on vacation.  It started as a random thing I decided to do to beat car trip boredom.  I made a scavenger hunt for the trip.  The first was on our girls + Dawson trip to Charleston and it ended up being pretty fun so I kept making them.

Just looking at the lists makes me laugh at some of the silly things that we’ve seen or done to check off the list.  It also doesn’t help that my family is super competitive and things like my sister and my nieces racing to the Love’s Truck Stop entrance to get a Java Amore coffee cup or everyone forcing my sister to eat gas station roller food, make for fun memories to look back on.

If you’re travelling, and bored or if you just want to have a little fun for the remainder of the summer I present you with the McClark Family Scavenger Hunt lists.

Side Note: No, no one in my family has the last name McClark, but one pre-vacation night at my mom’s we were trying to make an acronym of our last names and couldn’t.  So, we decided on Clark – for Clark W. Griswold.  I don’t remember where the “Mc” came from……. because we’re not Irish. 🙂

 

2013 Charleston Fall “Girls” Trip Scavenger Hunt

  1. Gas Station Attendant who looks like Elvis. 5 points       (8 points if it’s in TN)
  2. Car with 10 or more bumper stickers. 5 points
  3. Gas Station with more coolers full of beer than any other drink . 5 points
  4. Find a sign for a Candy Shop (on the upcoming Exit signs). 10 points
  5. Find a sign for a “Specialty” hamburger restaurant 10 points.     (no fast food chain, Red Robin, Bagger Dave’s etc.. local)
  1. Hurricane Evacuation Route sign. 5 points
  2. Palm Tree with Halloween lights. 8 points
  3. Sign/Advertisement for fresh/local fudge. 5 points
  4. Tunnel Ahead sign. 3 points
  5. People taking pictures of themselves by road sign.  5 points
  6. Sign in the shape of a food item or an animal. 10 points
  7. Sign for a strange roadside attraction (e.g. largest ball of twine).  10 points                    (subtract 5 points each if you use Ruby Falls or Rock City)
  8. Three-tiered fountain. 5 points
  9. The word “brilliant.”   8 points
  10. An ‘at night’ postcard – where the post card is all black. 10 points
  11. A matchbook with a restaurant logo on it. 15 points
  12. A bus schedule. 5 points
  13. Something that describes (team member).  5 points
  14. A historical marker.   2 points
  15. A fortune cookie. 3 points

(extra points if the word “happy” appears in the fortune cookie note)

 

BONUS:    UFO.    100 points

2014 Charleston – Destination wedding scavenger hunt.

 

  1. Item from a gas station/truck stop bathroom vending machine. 10 points
  2. Maps of at least 2 states from a rest area. 10 points
  3. Picture with your team setting off a firework on side of road. 50 points
  4. License plate # from a semi in the mountains. 10 points
  5. A “peopleofwalmart.com” picture. 30 points
  6. A bag of Gilliam Horehound Sanded Candy. 10 points
  7. 1 point for each condiment stolen from Chick-fil-A. unlimited
  8. Picture of a working payphone. 25 points
  9. Fortune Cookie from a Chinese restaurant. 5 points
  10. Bonus points if the fortune in #9 has the word happy in it. 10 points
  11. Weekly store ad from a store that we don’t have in Indiana. 5 points
  12. A Sand dollar (not purchased from a store). 50 points
  13. Get someone named “Sara” or “Teagan” to sing a “Tegan & Sara” song.  5 points
  1. Find a gas station with more coolers of beer than pop. 20 points
  2. Picture of (team member who doesn’t like seafood) eating seafood. 30 points
  3. Best Reason to disqualify someone’s “Slug A Bug.” 15 points **
  4. Matchbook from a restaurant w/ their logo on it. 100 points
  5. A receipt for exactly $4.38. 20 points
  6. Folded napkin art with a fast food napkin. 10 points
  7. A lottery ticket from each state we travel through. 20 points

** You can’t call a slug bug because….. it’s red, it has a bumper sticker etc.. make it up as you go.

2016 #bamafamavacation Scavenger Hunt

  1. Expired Cat Food at a Gas Station. 10 points
  2. Neil Diamond look-alike. 30 points *
  3. Lottery Ticket from any state but IN.  5 points each
  4. Belt Buckle larger than 3.5 inches. 10 points
  5. Carpool Karaoke video. 40 points **
  6. Java Amore coffee mug/cup. 20 points
  7. “Wash Me” written on a car (you can’t write it). 10 points
  8. Picture of local Mexican restaurant (not a chain) that doesn’t have Los or El in the name.  45 points
  9. Dress up a fire hydrant like a celebrity. 30 points
  10. Mystery Item. up to 100 points
  11. Poster, Flyer or Shirt for local festival. 30 points
  12. Bonus if item 11 doesn’t involve fruit or veggie. 15 points
  13. “Cake by the Ocean.” 10 points
  14. An Elvis impersonator. 75 points
  15. Place that serves “World Famous (____).” 15 points
  16. Vehicle with duct tape/plastic window. 10 points
  17. Team member eating “roller food.” 10 points
  18. Unicorns – anything with a unicorn on it. 5 points each
  19. Logo Matchbook from a restaurant. 75 points
  20. Comic Book Hero lunch date. 75 points

* Bonus of 50 points if you can get that person to sing Sweet Caroline

** Bonus of 20 points if props/costumes are used

As you can see we have a fun with our long road trips. Sometimes if no one finds something on a list it goes on next years list.  In 2016 they even made team names (TicTac Chicks, Aunt Eaters and No Ragrets).  I always feel sorry for Teagan because she has to team with her brother and her dad (because I make up the list) and they are less than enthusiastic about playing.

I hope your family has as much fun as mine did with these.  And for my family I already have started the list for October.

If Mr. Pickles would have written this blog the scavenger hunt list would be:

  1. Cookie. 10 points if you give it to me
  2. Dog Food. 10 points if you give it to me
  3. Cookie. 20 points if you give it to me
  4. Dog Food. 20 points if you give it to me
  5. Squirrel. 100 points if you let me say I caught it
  6. Cookie. 30 points if you give it to me
  7. Dog Food. 30 points if you give it to me
  8. Bacon. 50 points if you give it to me
  9. Cookie. 40 points if you give it to me
  10. Dog Food. 40 points if you give it to me

Mr. Pickles is NOT helping me with the Fall Vacation list.

You get 10 points for reading this blog (just to see which family members read it all the way to the end).

 

 

From the deck of Mr. Pickles, back up singer for Britney Spears

pick outside

Last night Teagan was listening to Britney Spears, very loudly.  I LOVE HER! Her music inspires me to be a better person.  I would like to dedicate the song “Toxic” to my girlfriend Killer.  I mean I’m really addicted to her, and she’s totally toxic. I would also dedicate “Gimme more” to mommy when she gives me cookies, because she totally needs to give me more cookies.  I called Britney and I told her I’m an awesome backup singer.  I even sang for her over the phone – she totally loves me.  She wants me to join her tour in July in Washington D.C.

Knowing mom, she won’t let me go though, she’ll say I’m too young!  Boo mom!  I’ve even got my costumes ready, I took one of sissy’s school uniforms and made a “Baby one more time” costume.  Teagan says I’d be better in a boy band though.  Maybe I could get my brother Dexter and dad’s friend’s dachshund Koby and we could be a boy band.  We might need one more to be a boy band though, I think three just makes us a trio, like Hanson.  I could place a help wanted ad:  Help wanted – male dachshund, mini or full size, short or long hair, must be able to sing and dance.  I mean Justin Timberlake had to start somewhere.  Actually, he was on the Mickey Mouse club. Its super cute when I sing the new Hot Dog song from Mickey Mouse club….. “Hot Dog Hog Dog Hot Diggity Dog, now we got ears it’s time for cheers.” Because I’m a “wiener” dog and I have big ears…. It’s kind of a visual thing, you really have to see it in person to see how cute it is.

Now that I know that I can sing I’m so going to serenade Killer.

I’m excited that Teagan is home for the summer.  But she wouldn’t let me play Xbox with her the other day – something about opposable thumbs.  I can totally play Xbox.  I want to play GTA5, but mom says I’m not old enough.  PHBTTT…  she said I could only play Viva Piñata which is totally lame.  Dawson has some fun racing and soccer games, but I bored turning left all the time and soccer balls scare me.

In other backyard news (because let’s face it I don’t go anywhere else), I have recently found out that opossums are marsupials and not rodents.  I don’t know why that’s important but someone on Facebook said it was, so if it was on Facebook it’s totally true.  But anyway, they kill ticks and I don’t like ticks, so I guess that means the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  This Facebook post says you’re not supposed to hurt opossums because they kill ticks and bugs.  So…. I may or may not owe a couple of opossums an apology for chasing them and grabbing one by the neck and bringing in the living room when sissy was puppy-sitting me.  There’s a video… sissy screams a lot (insert evil villain laugh).

I tried digging out of the backyard last week.  Teagan caught me though.  She’s a very responsible puppy-sitter – unfortunately.  Then she told mom and mom put up a new board, so I can’t dig anymore.  It is very hard to be a good noodle when you’re a dachshund.  I mean the whole reason dachshunds exist is to dig, burrow and hunt badgers.  I don’t know what a badger is, but I’m guessing it looks a lot like a tree rat, raccoon, rabbit or opossum.  But the good news now is, when I might let my good noodle status slip I can sing “Oops I did it again” and mom forgives me.

Image result for badger  <——- Badger

I don’t know that thing looks terrifying.

I think I’ll stick to back up singing! Or a boy band….. “Bye, bye bye!”

From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Royal Wedding invitee

British pickles

Mom wouldn’t let me go to Windsor this weekend even though I was clearly on the invitation list. My good pals Vulcan and Candy invited me, they’re Her Majesty’s “dorgis.”  Vulcan and Candy are ½ dachshund and ½ corgi and they are the only dogs the Queen has now.  I’m pretty sure we’re related, on the dachshund side anyway.  But mom said we couldn’t go to England so I had to watch the Royal Wedding on TV.  I really wanted to take Killer with me to England to impress her because I think she likes a Husky.  Can you imagine me and Killer riding in a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Windsor? One day…..

The whole reason we couldn’t go was because Teagan was playing a mirror in a play. Mirrors are scary by the way.  The other day I was investigating an open closet door and started barking because I found another dog in the closet.  Well, I thought there was another dog in the closet.  It turns out there was just a mirror that mom forgot about on the floor of the closet.  But I mean seriously how crazy would that have been to find a dog as handsome as me locked away in a closet?

Princess thinks she was invited to the Royal Wedding because her name is Princess, but I told her it doesn’t work that way. She argued with me and I let her win because let’s face it she’s bigger than me and kinda scary sometimes.  So if she asks, she was totally on the guest list!  Then Bam got involved, he said if anyone should have been invited it should have been him because he’s an Olde English Bulldog and Olde English is more British than a dachshund.  (Sigh) They just don’t understand what it’s like to be Royalty.

So other than Royal Wedding watching I really haven’t been up to much else lately. It’s nice to go outside and play since its spring.  I’m pretty sure there’s still a raccoon living under our mini barn but she’s pretty sneaky and we don’t see her very often.  Mom said it’s a good thing because she’s bigger than me.  Mom and Dad are getting ready to plant strawberries, peppers and tomatoes.  We’ll see how long those last until I get bored and decide to dig them up.  Er…. I mean until there is a dangerous tree rat near them and I have to dig them up to save them.  I like strawberries, mom dropped one the other day and it was yummy.  I guess if I don’t dig up the plant I could just eat the strawberries off the plant…. Hmmm decisions…. decisions.

Well that’s about all for now, I’m going to work on photoshopping myself into some of the pictures from the wedding yesterday.  Maybe Killer will still be impressed.  At least enough to distract her from the Husky for a while.  Maybe the Queen will want me to apply to MI6 that would impress Killer.  I could be the next James Bond, I mean my last name is pretty close – Mr. Pickles Baughn, 007.

H-Moo-O

I’m opening with possibly the worst “dad joke” ever according to my daughter.  If you don’t know what a “dad joke” is you are a)not a teenager and b)probably a dad guilty of making them.  A “dad joke” is an incredibly cheesy or dumb joke made by a dad to his kids.  Dave decided to be nice and make pancakes for Teagan yesterday morning because when asked who made better pancakes, mom or dad, she said dad.  He was busy mixing and stirring and pouring on the griddle and the pancakes puffed up quickly and he mentioned that seemed odd.  I pointed out that with the pancake mix he used you were supposed to use water not milk.  He then declared he had used “H-moo-O” which sent Teagan reeling with groans and eye rolls about bad dad jokes.  The pancakes were very fluffy and delicious though and she was really happy he added chocolate chips which is why I think he got voted best pancake maker.

And that…. Has absolutely nothing to do with my blog today.  But it was a fun opener.  Also be warned there are a lot of pictures ahead!

I decided yesterday to clean out a few drawers and the weird bookcase/hutch that I throw everything in and on top of.  Midway through when Teagan saw that I was reorganizing pictures and photo albums she came in and sat on the floor with me.  Of course, it was more than just rearranging or re-organizing once she got involved we had to open all the photo albums.  And then we found my mom’s scrap-book.  Which was weird because it wasn’t like a scrap book she had kept over the years it was like she had found a box of letters, cards and newspaper clippings and put them all in an old binder one day.  It started in 1980 and one of the last things in it was a newspaper article from when my nephew deployed to Afghanistan in 2003.  Some of the cartoons and articles she clipped were hilarious and we laughed a lot.

Teagan found the photo album I kept when I was growing up which included pictures of me when I attempted Horse and Pony 4-H, cheerleading, my friends from high school and middle school, a vacation to Colorado to visit my sister and my graduation.  One weird thing I noticed, was that in 2 or 3 different pictures in that album my mom had a cast on her arm.  I remember the last time she broke her arm because I took her to the hospital and that was maybe 10 years ago, but I don’t remember her breaking her arm when I was in high school or middle school.  Teagan got bored with that album though.

And she found some of our vacation albums.  She opened one from when we went to the beach when she was 5 and there was a picture of Dawson in a chair and she said, “He stayed in that stupid blue chair the whole vacation!” IMG_2867

Apparently, the chair had been a bone of contention for them.  I asked her if that was all she remembered from the vacation and she said yes.  Two pages later was a picture of Dawson and she said, “Look! He’s still in the chair!”  Then she found pictures of when we went to the beach when she was a maybe 1 or 2 and there was a picture of me holding her in the pool.  “You used to bounce up and down in the water and say bouncy…. bouncy…. bouncy!”  I have no idea if she really remembers that or not but that’s what we used to do so she wouldn’t cry in the pool.

There were pictures from vacations, amusement parks, sports, school stuff, weddings…. Teagan did not enjoy our wedding album.  She mostly was concerned with the mustaches that Dave and his groomsmen Tony and Scott had.  They were very 90’s fireman style – that’s all I’m going to say. IMG_2856

Sometimes she would have to ask who someone was and she was sometimes surprised by the answer because they look different now.  And she would often find a picture of herself and ask if she still looks like that and she’d try to mimic the look she had in the picture.   She also said she was cute AF (Insert eye roll).

Some thinks I learned as I was packing everything back in place:

  • I take, and have always taken, A LOT of pictures
  • I’m glad I take them because it’s fun to look back and remember – even pictures of my mom which are bittersweet because I miss her
  • My mom had a crazy sense of humor that reminds me of someone – oh yeah me (and Teagan… and Sara… and B)
  • People change a lot over the years – Teagan was particularly impressed with the amount of hairstyles my sister Kim has had over the years – her favorite:IMG_2862
  • Even the crazy vacations with all their calamities are totally worth it because they are filled with memories that even a 2-year-old remembers
  • Dad’s overall get a bad rap – dad jokes, dad mustache…..

I know I drive my loved ones crazy with picture-taking, but I think it’s totally worth it! IMG_2850

I found two really awesome pictures: one of my mom and me from my wedding  and one of my grandma and me from my graduation (Teagan thought Nana looked really pretty) that I think I will share since Mother’s Day is coming up soon.

Thanks for indulging my trip down memory lane….. I mean how often do you get to spend a Saturday night with your 15-year-old looking at old pictures?

No worries…. Mr. Pickles is itching to get back to blogging and he has some thoughts on ice cream, musical theater and becoming a Jedi.