Category Archives: Fun with Pip


Pip and I went out on a date this past weekend and our destination of choice, when we go out, is downtown.  We love walking through the city in the evening.  Love.  And we love Denver.


I do not love walking the length of the 16th street mall 20 times in shoes that are anything less than gym shoes.  When we were getting ready and I asked the obligatory “Which shoes should I wear?”, Pip told me to wear whichever ones were more comfortable.  When I answered that they were both comfortable he said to wear the gold ones.  I own lots of pairs of flats and pretty much all of them are comfortable (I do not have a silver pair though and became painfully aware of my need for silver flats).  Well, after nixing the pair he chose using the excuse of not having any color in my ensemble, because really…when the question, “Which one should I wear?” is answered, does anyone really wear the chosen shoes, shirt, pants, etc…?

Pip says this question is asked to narrow things down and not because I’m really interested in his opinion.  I know he has tried to fake me out by choosing the one he doesn’t like so that I will wear the one he does.  I’m onto you Pip.

Anyway, back to the date.  Walking around downtown hand in hand sounds very romantic and lovely and it is, if you aren’t running a race.  When Pip walks, he speed walks.  I can walk pretty fast and I have longer legs than Pip, but most of the time I’m panting trying to keep up.  At about…oh…mile 10, I told Pip that I was pretty sure that if we didn’t find a place to eat soon my toes were going to start bleeding.  So we walked some more.  Along the way we came across a small gathering of Hare Krishnas.  They were playing their little drums and such and chanting/singing.  Pip grabbed some street performer’s guitar (Pip plays guitar.  Have I mentioned that before?) and asked if they could sing “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison.  He told them he’d sing the bulk of the song and they could cover the Hare Krishna part, because clearly they had that down.  Meanwhile I sat down to nurse my bleeding feet and they threw flowers around my neck.  It was awesome.

Ok, so it didn’t happen exactly that way.  We did see Hare Krishnas though…


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What we did on our Summer Vacation – Part Deux

Ok, we left off as we were driving into Nashville…that part is not particularly eventful so I’ll move on.

We really loved Nashville and if presented with the opportunity we would probably move there without a second thought IF Jen and Chad were still there, which is doubtful seeing as how they are freakin’ nomads!  They do provide us with interesting vacation choices though :).  The day after we arrived we visited the Nashville Farmer’s Market which was oh so fun and filled with photo ops.

They had a bazillion peaches which was a treat because they aren’t in season here until mid-August (our trip was in mid-July…no comments about the time between then and now please).  We bought 500 pounds and went home and made a fresh peach pie.

We also got some of these lovely purple bell peppers.  Purple Peppers.  Say that 10 times…fast.  I’m not a pepper fan.  In fact I find them to be “the ruiner of all good things”, but Jen put them in a ravioli pesto dish that she made and I LOVED them.  Too bad I’ll probably never see them again.

We also bought enough tomatoes, various peppers and onions for Pip to make a vat of salsa.  So yummy!  We went to the Farmer’s market with a friend of our hosts who gave us the lowdown on some Tennessee history.  In Colorado you are taught about the Civil War but we found that we really know nothing.  People are passionate about the Civil War down there.  And we learned not to call it the Civil War as we were told, “There’s a Civil War memorial.  Well, the North calls it the Civil War, but there was nothing civil about it.  It was The War Between the States.”

In addition to various historical information we learned how to pronounce things correctly.  Nashville is pronounced Nashvull and a major street there called Lebanon is pronounced Lebnin.  Let that be a lesson to you.  That was not a lesson to DQ and TM.  On the way home from church on Sunday in Nashville we asked the kids what they learned in Sunday School.  DQ said she forgot.  We said, “Come on.  You must remember something.  It was just 10 minutes ago.”  She replied, “Yeah…I didn’t understand a word they said”.

The graveyards were of particular interest to Pip, as he’s really into morbid and creepy.  He suckered Chad into breaking into a confederate graveyard under cloak of darkness to take pictures.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned that Pip is into night photography.  He has to set up his camera on a tripod and leave the shutter open for minutes at a time to get a good exposure in the pitch black creepy night.  They hopped the fence into the confederate graveyard and just after Pip set up a shot they saw headlights coming towards them…you see, the graveyard is part of the Hermitage grounds.  The Hermitage being the former home of President Andrew Jackson.  Knowing they were in there illegally and not wanting to get arrested for being…well…morbid and creepy, they dropped to the ground and rolled away from the lights TOWARD the graves.  It was really dark and Pip could not see where he was rolling until he slammed his lip into a gravestone.  He scooched behind it and lay ON A CONFEDERATE GRAVE.  At night!  Let it be know you will never find me lying on graves, Confederate or otherwise, at any time of the day but ESPECIALLY at night.  That should really go without saying because who does that?  Pip and Chad, that’s who.  The security guard stopped and shone his lights on the graveyard but left without incident.  Probably because he saw one of them rolling and thought, “There is no way I’m getting out of this truck in the middle of the night to search graves for something I just saw moving towards them and disappearing.  I don’t get paid enough for this.”  Because that’s what I would be thinking.

You might think that that would be enough graveyard experience for them, but no.  A few nights later they went to Mount Olivet cemetery which is ginormous and dates back to…a really long time ago.  Did you like that?  How’s that for specifics.  I do my research people.  In this cemetery they have not just headstones but also mausoleums, statues and an old chapel.  All the better for taking pictures!  Here is one of the really creepy pictures Pip was able to get while there:

Pip said that he could barely see Chad standing a couple feet away.  He also noticed that though they were talking and acting normally, they were both constantly scanning the field of graves.  You think?!  Pip said he was really creeped out there because he kept hearing what sounded like two rocks banging together but no sign of animal or any other movement.  I would love to say that it was Jen and I hiding behind a headstone and banging rocks together but again…there is absolutely no way you would ever get me in a cemetery DURING THE NIGHT.

Oddly (or maybe not so) Pip’s paranormal experiences in Nashville do not end there.  Our family decided to visit the Hermitage while we were there, since it was right across the street from Jen and Chad’s house and since we had checked out a book on Andrew Jackson for the kids and read it on the way there.  If you’re ever in Nashville, I would say that the Hermitage is a must.  It was really great.  They had little headsets to wear that told you about various points in your tour and separate talks for the kids.  They loved it.  Here are some pics:

That last pic where Pip and the kids are standing in front of what looks like and is the grave of Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel?  That’s the weird part.  We were all standing there and since Pip likes to take his time at places like this (don’t even get me started on museums), I took the kids and we went to look for butterflies and bees in the surrounding garden.  Pip came over a few minutes later and asked if I sent DQ over to get him.  I told that I had her with me the whole time.  He said, “Huh, that’s weird.”  I asked him what he was talking about and he informed me that while he was standing there he felt someone come up next to him and put their arm around him.  He thought it was DQ coming to get him and told her, “I’ll be there in a minute.”  He turned to look and there was NO ONE THERE.  My personal opinion is that it was Rachel Jackson and she couldn’t help herself because Pip’s so cute.  That or the confederates were pissed off and wanted to freak him out.  Either is entirely believable.

To be continued yet again…(it was a long trip).


Filed under Friends and Family, Fun with Pip, Vacation

What we did on our Summer Vacation-2008 edition

At long last…the annual “What we did on our Summer Vacation.”

I figured I should get this out before it’s Fall, and since I’m now under a deadline, and since I procrastinate,
I’m more likely to actually finish.

This Summer’s vacation was a cross country (almost) road trip to Nashville, Tennessee.  It would be a lie if I
said we went because we really wanted to see Nashville, because we really went to see these people:

Because we love and miss them.  I use present tense because we still love and miss them (weeping and gnashing of teeth).

Our trip started out with me freaking out because we didn’t have our hotel’s address and reservation number, as our internet decided to go down the night before we left and lo and behold was still down the next morning.  It also started with a drive through the local Starbucks to feed our bad moods from internet issues and lack of sleep, and with that the usual OCD that Pip displays with his drink sleeve lining up with the logo on the cup and being centered with the drinking spout (I’m sure that’s not the proper name for it, but I don’t care.  That’s what I’m calling it.)  We had driven about 1/2 mile before the kids started to complain that they were hungry.  I very stupidly (I blame the lack of sleep) decided that they could tough it out until we got to the next major town to eat.  You see even though I know from experience that hungry kids on a road trip leads to unpleasant stomach issues that then lead to unpleasant mess and smell in the car, I thought some paltry snacks would solve the problem.  This led to holding DQ’s ponytail and rubbing her back while she bent over a toilet in McDonald’s in Limon, CO.  Her nausea passed without incident though and she ate all her pancakes and orange juice and kept them down.  So yea for our side.   It was also at this time (70 miles and over an hour into the trip) that we realized we forgot to put ice in the cooler.  Warm mayo anyone?  We ingested said mayo in tuna sandwiches at a rest area in…somewhere in Kansas.

It was during this lunch break that I realized that one can of tuna does not so much feed a family of 4.  Pip and I had a very thin spreading of tuna on our sandwiches.  They really could not be called tuna sandwiches so much as bread with some tuna flavor.  Pip was now questioning my ability to pack meals for road trips.  We arrived in Kansas City (well really Independence, Missouri) around 6 or 7. (see, this is what happens when you wait months to write about your vacation)  We met our friend “Stan the drummer man” for a lovely dinner at Denny’s by our hotel.  I left dinner early with the kids so they could swim in the pool before it closed.  For us and our bribery skills it is critical to not only get a hotel with a pool, but also get there in time to use it.  A word about the hotel: ewww.  We paid an exorbitant amount of money to stay in a hotel that should have been rented by the hour, and maybe was.  You know it’s not going to be a comfortable stay when your feet stick to the carpet.  The one plus was that there was a frozen custard place 20 steps from the hotel.  We split some custard and watched I Dood It, which we thoroughly enjoyed.  This hotel did have a decent breakfast (no Fruit Loops and Tang here).  Pip was nice enough to make waffles for us, but in so doing dropped the waffle mix on his shirt and wanted to change.  We had already packed the car.  Though annoyed that he would care about a couple of splashes of waffle mix on his shirt while he drove for 12 hours, it did not surprise me.  Pip has little patience for foreign items on his shirts.  When our kids were babies this intolerance was more pronounced.  If a microscopic bit of spit up landed on the back hem of his shirt, he would rip it off as if it was now contaminated with Agent Orange and was headed toward his bloodstream.  He wanted it off so quickly that he would very nearly forget to put the baby down first.  All while I’m standing there with my shirt dripping with all manner of baby waste.  I’m amazed he was able to look at me, let alone give me hugs and kisses.

After breakfast we set off to the nearest gas station where someone else pumping gas noticed that i was looking at a map and proceeded to ask Pip where we were going.  Pip told him we were headed to Nashville by way of St. Louis. He told Pip, “The difference between K.C. and St. Louis.  St. Louis is more of an East Coast mentality.  K.C. is more West Coast.”  I had to laugh because having lived in L.A. I can assure you that Kansas City is most definitely not “West Coast”.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  This is often some of my favorite parts of vacation: the people you meet (or that Pip meets really) along the way.  Great stuff.  We drove through St. Louis and were awed by the Arch and excited to show the kids the Mississippi River.

I think Pip was sad to leave Missouri because he had so much fun making fun of the name.  It started out like “Mizzeruh”, and progressed (or digressed) into Mizzer then Mizz them Muh ending with just Mmm, all said like a drunk Barry White.  He used it every time he saw the name, as in “Oh look!  It says The Pride of Mmm…”.  I on the otherhand was thrilled to drive into Illinois so as not to listen to that anymore.

After the previous day’s lunch experience, we didn’t want to relive the sandwiches with essence of tuna.  Instead we went to Taco Bell.  This was a bad move as you can never tell if DQ is going to like something from one day to the next and even though she previously loved TB, she decided to make this lunch a living hell by deciding that no she did not want a bean burrito, she wanted pizza.  Because Taco Bell loves me, this one was of the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut variety.  She got a cheese pizza…that after 3 bites decided she didn’t like and wanted a burrito. It is these times that I have to physically restrain myself from reaching across the table to strangle her.  And in case you’re wondering, she did not get a burrito.  She ate 3/4 of the pizza, but not without making positively sure we knew how abusive we were by forcing her to eat what she threw a fit in order to get.  I think she stopped crying by the time we got to Rand Lake (Rend Lake?) in southern Illinois for another rest.

It was a really beautiful lake, but also REALLY hot and humid.  I actually think the heat and humidity was worse there than anytime we were in Nashville.

I had been trying to get pictures of all the Welcome to… signs as we crossed into each different state, but
missed Kentucky’s entirely because as we crossed we came along side a truck that was truly fascinating.  It was old and large with faded red paint and a gun rack in the back window.  The man driving was sunburnt, shirtless, and had a mullet.  I do not make these things up.  I wanted to get a picture, but Pip didn’t want him to have to use his gun rack…on me.  Once we were in Kentucky, Pip took the opportunity to blurt out “Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky” every chance he could get.  Fortunately, we were only in Kentucky for a short time.

To be continued…(because it’s been two hours and my fingers are tired)

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Honey for the soul


“The first week at August’s was a consolation, a pure relief.  The world will give you that once in a while, a brief time-out; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat-up life.”

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I was out of town this weekend at my sister’s house in the Phoenix area.  I grew up there.  Not in my sister’s house, but in Phoenix.  I read the above passage on the plane and just about made a crying fool out of myself at 30,000 feet.  That pretty much sums up how lovely those few days away were.  Not that my life is terrible, because it’s not.  It’s pretty great actually, but work has made me feel a little bit down lately and it was so so good to have a time-out.  Thanks Fergs.  I really needed the revelry and celebration and I really miss you.

So, now that that’s out there, Pip’s time without me was not so soothing.  I went to Phoenix for my nephew’s wedding, so changing my travel plans was not going to happen.  I say that because I left Pip with two kids in the middle of the dreaded Flu.  I knew he could handle it, and was not too terribly worried when I left.  I called him when I got to Phoenix to let him know I arrived without getting “LOST“, and he had his “I’m being calm so as not to let her know that anything is wrong here. No everything is just fine” voice on and DQ screaming in the background.  Naturally I asked what was wrong and he told me they had had a little accident.  They sat down to eat dinner and Pip got up to get something in the living room.  While he was up he heard an enormous CRASH come from the dining room.  The dining room that the kids were currently sitting in.  He walked in to see that the chandelier had fallen out of the ceiling onto the table and in so doing had shattered the cake plate I keep in the center of the table with candles on it.  Glass had shot everywhere and the kids were sitting there.  TM was in stunned silence and to be honest probably more concerned about his milk having glass in it than anything else.  DQ was sitting screaming in terror, because that’s what she does.  He found out, when she could speak again, that she was upset because my cake plate broke and I loved my cake plate, and how would I FEEL if my cake plate was broken and couldn’t be fixed.  Gotta love her.  It appeared the the little hook thing had unscrewed from the bolt in the ceiling, which I can only imagine would be from turning it while dusting it.  So let this be a lesson to you all: Don’t dust your chandeliers.  Here is a picture of said chandelier at Christmas-It’s wrought iron and heavy.

On Monday Pip called and again sounded completely normal.  I asked how things were going and he said they had an interesting night.  Uh Oh.  He was sleeping soundly when he heard piercing screaming from the kids’ room.  It was DQ and coming out of a sound sleep and hearing that, he bolted out of bed and ran to her room, where she was sitting in bed screaming because her ears hurt so bad.  He said he was listening to her when he started to feel really nauseous and she started getting quieter.  He said he remembers grabbing for the bed to steady himself, but the next thing he knew he was waking up on the floor next to DQ’s bed.  He wondered why he was sleeping on the floor in their room and just figured he had done that because they weren’t feeling well.  He looked up and saw DQ looking at him over the side of the bed, still crying, and probably thinking, HELLO!  I’m in pain here!  Why are you sleeping?!  He said he felt like he’d been lying there for a good hour.  DQ told him it had been about 10 seconds.  When he got up he felt really nauseous again, so he ran to the bathroom.  Nothing happened and he figured he could probably help DQ if he went very s l o w l y.  He went and looked online how to help earache pain and gave her some ibuprofen and heated up the rice pillow I made for her for Valentine’s day to put on her ears.  Are you impressed?  I have to say, I was.  Anyway, the next day he went into the bathroom where there was a large amount of blood all over the toilet where he had leaned his arms when he felt nauseous after the fainting.  He went back to the kids’ room and there was blood all over the railing on DQ’s bed.  Apparently when he fainted he landed on TM’s Spiderman race track.  There were deep gashes in his arms and on his side that he DID NOT EVEN NOTICE.  This is something I would notice.  Him not so much.  So, he had to schedule a same day appointment at the pediatrician to get antibiotics and drops for DQ’s ears.  He didn’t tell the Dr. about the previous evening’s events.  Probably a good move.

I asked him when I got home if he wanted to be the stay-at-home parent.  He said a resounding “no” and that he has no idea how I do it all.  Well, then.  I say that alone was worth it.


Filed under Angst, DQ and TM, Friends and Family, Fun with Pip

“Daddy, you look more like a fairy.”

Because we’ve been lacking in the “funny” around here, I thought I’d let you all know that Pip keeps everyone laughing. 

It looks innocent enough no?  They were playing angels in the living room…but wait!…what’s that figure disappearing into another room?

Yes, people.  That would be Pip, dressed as an angel.  If you look closely you can see the halo in his hand that he ripped off while running into the next room when he saw the camera.  But those wings…Wow. 

Later, DQ told him he looked more like a fairy.  You can’t make this stuff up.  And thanks to Pip for being both the best Dad and the best sport for not deleting the picture. 

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Today is monumental for us, and for Pip I think it ranks right up there with the day we were married and the birth of his children, possibly even the day that the Beatles released their first album. 

Here is Elsie: Our new greyhound. 

Pip tried to “wash the devil out of her” at the local self-serve dog washing place (that’s their slogan), but obviously that failed.

She is very cute, and just think of all the new stories this will inspire. 

Now if only she could stop dripping slobber and water all over my floor…this could take some getting used to.


Filed under Angst, Fun with Pip

I know, I know…

…it’s been forever.  We did move, so that will be my excuse. 🙂

And for a jump back into blogging, here are a few “Pip”isms:

After a major blow up by DQ about her lying and screaming and throwing all kinds of tantrums, she gets sent to her room and Pip comes upstairs looking downtrodden and says, “She won’t take any responsibility for her actions.  It’s always someone else’s fault…I’m raising a Democrat and I don’t know how that happened.” (Disclaimer:  Pip’s points of view do not necessarily reflect the views of Spuncrack or it’s associates.)

And last night at dinner (because that’s where are all the good conversation is):

DQ: (looking like she may cry) “It makes me sad when builders dig up the earth because I think it must hurt the earth very bad.  They just leave piles of dirt dug up and sitting there.”

Pip: “That doesn’t really hurt the earth.  What really hurts the earth is when you drive too much, because cars eat gas like people eat food, and when you drive the car just constantly farts out fumes from it’s tailpipe, or bottom, and those fumes are really hurting the earth.  Every time you drive the car just runs around farting on the earth like this pppllllllbbbbbhhhh! (makes a passing gas sound with his mouth)

DQ:  “Daddy said the F word.” (fart)

More posts including pictures soon. 🙂


Filed under Angst, DQ and TM, Fun with Pip, Funsies