Monday, August 31, 2009

perfectly concealed by clinique's "surprise" lip color

A year ago today, I was wandering about, helping Molly and other members of the wedding party with make-up, running errands, and fending off excited questions about the night before. As in:

"So, what happened last night?!"
"Where did you and Rob disappear to?!"
"You look tired - how late were you up?!"

I daintily observed that a lady never kisses and tells, so I could assure them that Rob was a very good kisser. He was the consummate gentleman, going about his business of videoing the wedding prep like a pro, discreetly winking at me and eventually getting my phone number. I wondered aloud all day about the ink on my lip, where it had come from since I don't chew pens, why it wasn't rubbing off, and when I finally took a good long look at it, I realized that it was a bruise.

As in, my lips were so out of practice due to my unfortunate and prolonged chastity that the smallest peck left a bruise. BECAUSE THAT'S ALL WE DID. Pecked. Once. It was very sweet. Prim, even.

However, in my horror at having a bruise on my lip for all the world to see (and I honestly didn't put it together until JUST before the wedding itself), I cornered Rob and told him in no uncertain terms that if (I SAID IF, MISTER!) we ever pecked again, he had to be very careful because I was such a fragile flower.

As soon as he realized that I was only partly serious and that he had left an impression, in a way, I discovered that he has a rather devilish grin... I also discovered that my color of lipstick is rather appropriately named.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

i got a little link-happy

Saturday was the anniversary of Rob officially hitting on me. Today is the anniversary of our first kiss-slash-make-out-session.

Both were very satisfying.

Also, Monday is Molly & J.R.'s first anniversary. Way to go you two... and thanks again!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

spanish verb tenses are tough, but they've got nothing on that pesky english

to forego (third-person singular simple present foregoes, present participle foregoing, simple past forewent, past participle foregone)

  • To precede, to go before.
Rob and I have had a difficult time remembering all these tenses, and we evidently like using the word "forego."

A: In the interest of time and the stuff I had to get done today, we foregoed Blake's nap.
R: What?
A: (shaking head and laughing) That's not right.

R: When we're in Spokane, what if we foregoo the... (trailing off)
A: What?
R: (shaking head and laughing) That's not right.

I should note that these conversations were weeks apart and that we are clearly having lots of fun together. At least, I think it's clear.

that's what he said

B: What's that?
A: Sausage.
B: Shaushage.
A: Sausage.
B: Shaushage.
A: Sausage.
B: Shaushage. (giggles) ... huh. That's cute. I'm cute.
A: You ARE.
B: No. I'm not cute. I'm handsome.

B: I'm gonna have a Hot Charlie motorcycle when I grow up.
R: You mean a Harley?
B: No, I mean a Hot Charlie.

B: Mom, next time I should marry you so I can stay with you and Dad.
A: When would you be leaving?
B: When I would have to go live with Reese and Matt and be their family.
A: You don't have to leave us to be their family!
B: Well, when I go to Spokane then. I will come back and marry you that time so I can be with you and Dad forever. Cuz then I can play the Wii Fit.

B: I love you, Mom.
A: I love you too.
B: You're beautiful.
A: You're handsome.
B: No, I say 'You're beautiful,' and you say 'Thanks.'
A: Thanks.
B: (whispered) You're welcome.

A: How many brothers and sisters are you going to have?
B: Sixty-nine.
A: WHAT?! Are you trying to kill me?
B: I love sixty-nine. I'm going to have tons and tons because that's fun.

(He thought sixty-nine was a number he made up, but he knew it was very many. Hard to let him down to around two, especially since I think he's hoping for OLDER brothers/sisters.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

i want a house with a yard, but then i'd have to mow the damn thing

A year ago today, I met my husband. We've been married about four and a half months already, so I guess you could say that we move a little quickly.

Okay, okay: we've been at Mach 3 almost from the moment we clapped peepers on each other.

I was in Billings for Molly's wedding. I was the "non-matron" of honor, and both she and J.R. had been needling me for weeks about hooking me up with the only single guy they could think of that was invited: the video guy. J.R. had gone to school with him at Moody, and it wasn't clear whether that was a pro or a con. At one point, Molly confided that while they were having fun teasing, she honestly wasn't trying to throw me at video guy's head because she loved me too much to pull that crap. She assured me that while she thought we'd get along great and be good friends and laugh a lot, she was pretty confident that he wasn't my type.

I must admit, it was good to be let off the hook. Feeling even the slightest pressure about dating anyone was extremely uncomfortable to me, and all I could figure was that God would have to make happen what I couldn't see happening: meeting someone who wasn't threatened by the fact that I was a widow with a child. Thankfully, I'd gotten my braces off in July, so that particular hurdle was done.

Imaginary conversation between me and the random fellow who unwittingly approached me before July:
RF: Hey... so, what's your story?
A: I'm a widow with braces and a baby. The line starts HERE. (pointing at my feet)

When I first met Rob, I was at a dinner held at the home of the soon-to-be in-laws, holding my own by swearing roundly during a few story-telling times. I like to tell stories. I like to punctuate my stories with well-timed cursing that (I like to think) makes them funnier. My mother thinks I might have Tourette's, but she might just be giving me the benefit of the doubt. The first impression I had when he pulled up?

That man has a large head. I wonder why he's wearing a "CANADA" shirt and driving such a tiny car (it was a Miata).

Then a strange thing happened when I was formally introduced: I got shy. A second strange thing happened as Molly and I left: J.R. put his arm around me protectively while we were chatting with Rob, and I let him (strange because I'm more likely to punch him like a brother).

And the strangest thing of all? Well, he's in the next room on the computer, but I'll get to that later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

family time in many-sticks

The family drove to Plentywood (go ahead, make your jokes) in mid-August for a Morstad-family reunion of sorts. The Teipe family came out with all three kids, and that is an event worthy of hours of driving.

We had a great time, really fantastic. Other than the drive, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Both Rob and I were a teensy bit nervous for him, spending time with his wife's late husband's family. When I put it that way, who doesn't think "party!"?

The Morstads welcomed him so cheerfully and gladly - made him feel truly welcome and at ease, and made me realize anew what an amazing family I married into. They have some of the biggest hearts I've ever seen, and it was an enormous blessing. I had a moment or two of sadness, remembering and missing Blake terribly in the location where I knew a wholly different side of him. Thankfully, the moments were brief, though Rob was sensitive to my heart the whole weekend.

We rode a combine, swam in the pool, built towers of Legos, had a great bonfire, and enjoyed the company immensely. Blake borrowed a life jacket in order to jump off the diving board and declared himself a good swimmer, despite his arms forced awkwardly away from his body due to the size of the PFD. He showed so little fear at the diving board that I got nervous. He's not nearly proficient enough in staying afloat to be so bold!

On the way up, I got a call from my mom letting me know that Reese's water had broken, a full three weeks early. I was the one who was going to stay with the twins so that she and Matt could head to the hospital. Oops! Thankfully, Mom was able to make it well in time, and we got back to a new nephew, Sawyer Eames. He is delightful, and Reese mentioned more than a few times how easy it was to have just the one. I didn't have the heart to remind her that she still had twin two-year-olds at home... I'm sure she was all too aware!

Plentywood pics: I'm sorry for the quality, but these were swiped off Facebook and edited, and nothing digital holds up well to that kind of tinkering.

Rob & Addie

Grammie Freda, Joe and Rachel, Patsy, Erin, Steve, Dan, Nancy, Addie, Blake, Rob

Rachel & Joe

Dan & Ernie


Blake & Chris


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

unusually political for me

I'm sick of the emotional rhetoric being thrown around by those vehemently against the government's health care/insurance/cost reform (including the man who cluelessly said "Keep your government out of my Medicare!"). I am sick of being made to feel that our president's endorsement is enough to make me embrace a confusing and flawed 1000-page bill.

But I am also tired of the apathy of the American public at large, including my own. The attitude of "I've-got-mine-so-screw-you" is not acceptable. Arguing that the Constitution doesn't include health care isn't helpful. Leaving those less fortunate to suffer and die under either crippling illness or crippling debt is unconscionable. Continuing to penalize those unfortunate enough to have an illness manifest during a period without insurance has to stop. We're allowing health insurance companies to discriminate against the sick.

I am not sure if I approve of a bill I've not read. What I do know is that the compassion we need in order to carefully and wisely reconsider the status quo is sadly lacking. I'm tired of seeing rants from well-meaning friends on Facebook. I fear for my brother-in-law and his family - as someone unfortunate enough to suffer a collapse a mere week short of qualifying for health insurance, he and my sister are all but condemned to declare medical bankruptcy. Federal law requires that he be given care in an emergency, but that is not reassuring enough when he is only TWENTY-SIX and evidently forever barred from getting insurance to cover the very condition he needs coverage for.

The current system is broken. I am not sure that federalized care is the answer, but clearly, insurance companies as they stand now appear more concerned with their bottom line than they are with providing customer service that truly serves the customer. Chances are very good that someone you know is struggling with this issue: how to pay for care that's not covered. Now? NOW can you show some compassion to your fellow man?

This is more a rant than a "this is how we solve this" post, but I did find this, this, and this helpful in framing my current mindset of "I don't know what to do, but I'd rather err on the side of grace."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

cheerful porn soundtrack

Getting a call at 6:30 in the morning has "emergency" written all over it, despite the happy ring I now dance to EVERY TIME I get a phone call.

Except the ones that come in at 6:30. Then I just panic and try to answer it as quickly as possible. When the person on the other end is an endlessly perky coworker who thinks that 8:30 in Florida equals 10:30 in Montana, I can relax.

Of course, now I hate him for being in Florida without me, not for calling for a non-emergency at 6:30 am.

Thoughtless cad.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


  • Our freshly scrubbed floors; I might not mop often, so when I DO, I go all out
  • Serving in the church nursery when Mason, Smith, AND Kale were there
  • The promising look of a ton of green cherry tomatoes, if summer would just hang on
  • Stepping on the Wii Fit and hearing "Great!"
  • Getting to see a bunch of the Morstad side of our family and be reminded how lovely they are
  • Being so bored on Saturday that I read an Agatha Christie novel (they both did it!), exercised, and otherwise "got a lot done," which is my litmus for a good day
  • Finding a starter set of Legos for Blake after we gave his Duplos to the twins
  • Finally finding a light bulb that fits Rob's beloved lava lamp
  • Blake's cheerfulness at being a pirate, albeit a blind one until his glasses arrive
  • Getting a new phone with an engaging ringtone that sounds like a really upbeat and fun porn soundtrack
  • Discovering that Mom chose the same ringtone for her new phone


  • Carpeted bathrooms
  • Single-ply toilet paper
  • Idiotic drivers now that school's almost begun (I got behind a Californian the other day whom I wanted to ram repeatedly while yelling "GO HOME!" as he ignored all the basic traffic laws that presumably also exist in the sunnier clime to which he's accustomed... but it would required me to get off my cell phone. All I can hope is that the Bozeman winter will hand him his heinie on a frosty silver platter.)
  • Stepping on the Wii Fit and hearing "Oh!"
  • Spending summer behind the windshield and still not getting everywhere we wanted to be
  • Rob's Saturday work schedule
  • My Norwegian pancakes not tasting like the Cousin's Family Restaurant's version
  • Summer being almost conspicuously absent for three months as falls creeps in
  • Eye patches and glasses and all the work that involves for Blakester (more in a different post)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

that's what he said

B: Mom, where is your silly bone?
A: You mean my funny bone?
B: Yeah. Where is that?

A: You're gonna finish your lunch before I've even sat down! You must have been hungry.
B: Uh huh. Because that's the way God wanted to make me.

B: Hey, Dad? I like nuts.
R: Me too. I like walnuts.
B: I love peanuts!

Mom, today I get to play with Rio and Ellese! I play with Rio cuz he's awesome, and Ellese cuz she's beautiful.

B: I want little Legos like Jack and Chris and Bennifer.
A: What? They haven't been together for a long time?!
B: What? Who?
(He was referring to his cousin Ben, but evidently got "Christopher" and "Ben" confused.)

A: You know, you're my little sack of sugar.
B: NO.
A: You're my little sack of taters?
B: NO.
A: You're my pretty little angel?
B: NO.
A: You're my little hunny bunny?
B: (muttering) I not dealing with this.

Monday, August 17, 2009

little no name schuyler (who is now named sawyer)

Reese had a baby boy, and while I don't want to give away EVERYTHING (her story, after all!), I know it will be a while before she can compose a blog post. Sawyer Schuyler (no middle name yet) was born via C-section on Saturday morning, weighing 6 lbs, 14 ozs or something very close to that. Everyone is doing very well, and Reese is enjoying the comparative ease of doing everything just the one time.

Brand new baby boy.

A C-section wasn't what Reese had hoped for, but she was happy nonetheless: peaceful and calm, it was a very different birthing experience for her. Not one contraction!

Doting grandies.

With one of the Schuyler aunties.

Jenny was a little sick, and despite Reese's reassuring her that she didn't need to, donned a mask. Sometimes us aunties are more protective than the mommas!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

that's what he said

(to the tune of Black Sabbath's Iron Man) I am Iron Man, you can't catch me I'm too fast.

He knows a song for pretty much any superhero I can name. Most of the songs are legit, some are almost legit (see above), some are just totally made up. All of them are particularly awesome when sung by a four-year-old.

I making this for Grammie because it's beautiful and my Grammie loves beautiful things. But my Papaw just loves rocks.

Sching! Sching! I'm Wolverine! See my knifey fists?

B: When I get bigger, I'm going to play World of the Warcraft.

Mom, I am this tall (holds his hand on top of his head), so I am really getting bigger. See how big I am?

Mom, you're beautiful. I will give you flowers if you want a surprise. When I get bigger and grow up. But not my sunseeds. Oh! I mean my sunflowers. They are kind of different, I don't know, kind of like a sun. Cuz a sun has red or, OOOOOH, no. I don't know. Maybe. No. I don't know. Maybe.

Mom (hovering close as I ate, immediately after he'd had a snack), I will eat that for you, if you get tired of it. If you want. Are you tired of that yet?

Friday, August 7, 2009

on becoming quaint in stages

The house, front view. If we were going to live here, it wouldn't be that color for very long... and Rob feels just as strongly about it as I do, maybe more!

The garage, from the back step. The back yard is mostly weeds (Rob reseeded the front, which looks great), and I would consider the garage a tear-down, at least to the studs, maybe. But I will confess to being on the far end of spectrum of "neat freaks." I can admit it. It's cool.

The back porch/door. Some previous owner had built a rickety porch of 2x4 and plywood, all painted black.

The plywood was rotting through due to pooled water over who knows how many years. There were squishy-feeling sections that weren't very safe to stand on.

So we ripped it off. Turns out there's a perfectly functional little stoop underneath! Perfect! The plastic bin to the right is covering the yet-to-be-moved sprinkler system controls. Also to be moved: the pipe running four inches off the ground across the deck.

The railing of the porch, back door in background.

New view, sans pop cans, trash, and redneck "porch." I vote "most improved."

Previous owners had painted over wallpaper. It took me and Bethany two full days to peel off the wallpaper, and we took some of the drywall with it. Cec had to mud the ever-loving daylights out of the plywood and ripped up wall to get a semblance of an even plane.

A semblance of an even plane! Painted nutty beige. Gotta love those beige planes.

From the living room into the foyer. The carpet is from a previous owner, but the black plastic underneath is covering and protecting laminate flooring that Rob and Cec laid.

Look at that pretty floor! And in the back right, do you see that lovely slate tile? The only problem with putting slate tile in a house we're going to sell (please, sweet Jesus, let it sell) is that now I want it in a home I actually LIVE IN. It's so beautiful and slate-y, like slate should be.

The living room, from the kitchen door. When he moved in, Rob tore out the wretched black window and door trim, but he had nothing to replace it with. The black baseboard is the plastic glued-down stuff that's usually in an elementary school cafeteria.

Detail of the black baseboard and missing trim.

Detail of the new trim and new wall color - more nutty beige, and the trim is city lights. I wouldn't have gone with the pale yellow trim, but the paint was already there (previous owner!), and why buy any more than you have to? Am I right?

Partway through. Couches are moved out, one wall painted. Black plastic base not ripped out yet.

We've begun in earnest. Step 1: Make enormous mess.

This picture makes me happy.

Finished living room. Painted walls, new trim, new white door punched through into bedroom (previously accessed through the wood door in the background), new sockets and switches. Cec and Rob closed off the opening between the one adjoined front room to give us two separate bedrooms. This picture also makes me happy.

The closed off door. The wood door (previous photo) is just out of frame to the right.

The gutted bathroom. There were three or four layers of vinyl tile/linoleum/etc, then one last layer of ceramic tile that had been laid into cement. So Cec and Rob covered it over with cement board to ensure a level floor surface.

ISN'T THIS PRETTY?! I love the floor (Rob's choice) and paint color (mine), and just marvel at the transformation wrought in this space. It's so encouraging. We've yet to add the caps to the countertop, and still have a TP holder and towel hooks to install, but this bathroom is just so nice. I think it's the slate-y slate slate.

I washed the blinds, evidently for the first time in their short lives? Which reminds me, the ones here in Bozeman are overdue...
WHAT? You don't wash your blinds? I think that means something is wrong with YOU, not with ME.

The mostly clean original cast iron tub. I love the tub, but it's old enough that parts of it will never be white again, and not just the parts where the enamel's worn off.

Laundry area. The washer/dryer had been perched on the rotten stuff in the background, and it was a wonder they hadn't fallen through. The carpet in the foreground (cut from the foyer piece) was laid to keep the dog from destroying more of the floor and to block a hole at the threshold that was admitting cold air and mice.

Midway. We've torn out the flooring and the particleboard underlay. Because it had gotten wet (laundry room, after all!), it came up in quarter-sized chunks that drove Dad nuts. He measuring for the plywood to replace it. Also, his different calf sizes are due to a childhood bout with polio (in case you were curious).

The mostly finished laundry room. New flooring that is nice and smooth, new trim, added a cabinet over the washer. All that's left is wiping down the washer/dryer and getting them hooked back up.

Back door. Hung upside down, they nevertheless put a bolt on there anyway, which subsequently broke. Rob had to tear out the trim because Thrall (previously mentioned pup) had destroyed it in his vigorous desire to leave the house. When Dad pulled the door to replace it, he found an electrical main lining the casing. Wiring isn't supposed to be in door casings - they should be wire-free so that you can nail/drill the door frame in and secure it. This wire had exposed copper from being nicked by several nails/screws, and Dad said it was a miracle the place hadn't burned down. Maybe Thrall was trying to WARN THEM!

My only qualm about the finished product is the brass deadbolt against the brushed nickel door handle. I'M SO PICKY.

Rob's old room. When I first met him, it was down to the (original 1923) studs, with a chipped green linoleum tile on the floor. How I wish he could enjoy this beauty of a change. And I don't have a before picture, because I wasn't sure he'd appreciate it. Look at me, learning all about tact and being thoughtful!

Jasmine's old room, redone. I don't have before pics, but imagine a really old set of wooden gliding six-light windows. Now imagine them (in this grey of a room) with many layers of paint, the uppermost being a sort of bubblegum fuschia. And imagine one painted shut, the other painted partway open. With at least one semi-shattered pane that was almost fully put back together with silicone caulk. The part that was too shattered to repair? Taped over with masking and Scotch tape. Can I just say that I kind of hate the previous owners?

We left the color, a very deep grey that isn't too bad when fully trimmed in white, replaced the windows, trimmed the windows and doors, painted the closet doors (previously wood with some of the wall paint splotched on them), replaced the light fixture, updated the sockets and light switch.

He worked SO HARD, um, playing with Legos. I love when he falls asleep against the seat belt and is so sacked out that he drifts over until he's bent in two, sleeping soundly while drooling down his legs. Because it's cute, not because I'm into drool or anything.

Here's the thing: we have amazing friends and family. Bethany helped enormously with the demolition and painting phases; Chris got in and ripped up some bathroom, Cec is a drywalling, mudding, laminate flooring, bathroom revamping, rewiring extraordinaire; my folks came in for a long weekend of painting, trimming, door replacing, and cleaning; Aaron, Esther, and Joyce pitched in with wiring and cleaning; Dan and Lindsey (the friends who really deserve a love letter) kind of did it all. Dan owns Gemini Remodeling and Lindsey is along for the ride.

I grew up with Dan, who was a good friend of Reese's. I knew Lindsey when I was a high school volunteer for the junior high youth group she attended. I've always known Dan to be good people, and getting to know Lindsey in the hours she selflessly caulked and sanded and painted was a real blessing. First of all, they gave us a weekend's worth of time - Dad figured the nails were still hot on the trim he'd installed and Lindsey would already be done caulking it before he'd nailed up the next piece. They continued to come over a few nights after both their real jobs in order to help wrap things up the following week. Lindsey, you'll be glad to know that I learned how to caulk after you left, and I'm pretty good at it!

We figured we've made some great friends (well, I've made them all over again), and having more folks to hang out with while in Spokane makes me want to visit MORE, not less, once this house is off our plates.

So, lots of work, lots of time, lots of help, lots of beer. And since we cannot truly repay everyone for their loving abundance of grace and time, I will do the next best thing.

I will mention you by name on my blog. And, I will make your names bold. That counts, yes?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

nothing says fun like a gas-fueled explosion

I got my ring off last night! The swelling went down just enough so that I could pry it over my puffy knuckle and not rip any skin off with it. The tidy little surgical cut is healing nicely, and I'm evidently not nearly as sensitive to bee stings as I am to hornets or wasps. Those stings swell to the point I might have risked losing the finger over cutting the ring off because I have priorities that are wildly out of whack.

In related news, the light on Pepe's dash that said "DO NOT DRIVE ME LONG DISTANCES" isn't the simple computer re-set that I thought. We'd gone over some pretty rough and muddy roads on our way to and from the cabin (of ATV-rolling fame) in July, and rather than simply mud gumming up some valve or exhaust part, a rock actually ripped a hole in the evaporation system. When the gal at the shop starts her message with an apology about how expensive the repair is going to be, you can pretty much be sure that you'll need either a hanky or a change of pants once the message is over. GUESS WHICH ONE I PICKED?

So, the evaporation system, whatever that is, needs to be completely replaced. The owner of shop said the car was unsafe to drive, and I scoffed a bit because how important can a system I'm unfamiliar with actually BE? They then assured me that, with a full tank of gas in the hot sun, the raw vapors escaping my car could actually ignite.

How exciting!

The good news is that they should be able to find salvage parts that are one-tenth what parts would cost through the dealer (who is back ordered until October anyway). And maybe I can have my little Pepe back before the snow flies or even before next week is out, depending on if they let me pay for the labor in installments.

The downside is that it's one more blow to our already shaky financial picture. Rob and I believe that we were obedient to the Lord in getting married as quickly as we did, despite it being one of the poorer financial decisions we could have made, though him moving to Bozeman was a close second. We've taken a number of financial steps of trust while also trying to be sure we do not step beyond God's instruction. We are now out on a thin limb of faith, striving to be diligent and wise and fiscally prudent, and then this discovery makes me feel like God's taken a saw to our limb! Our precious limb that's so uncomfy but right now so much more secure than whatever is down below! There might be a safety net, BUT I CAN'T SEE IT. Also nearly invisible to my naked eye: mustard seeds.

My knee-jerk reaction to all this bad news surrounding one ill-fated trip was to declare to Rob that I will never go to this dear friend's cabin ever again. It is too expensive. He wryly pointed out that we might not get invited back, so that problem is solved!

Our first few months of marriage have been quite the thrill ride, wouldn't you agree? At least I'm not pregnant (don't worry - I checked before daring to write that!).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

from molly - thanks friend

AntiPsalm 23. To use contrast in order to help me remember and live by Psalm 23.

Also, Grammie Perrine, I need your email address, you sweet thing!

though the day be laced with trouble, be the stone on which i stumble straight into the arms and stay where you remain

Please pray for my heart and God's provision. I am incredibly discouraged today.

i had to spend the next six weeks in lip rehab with this kid named oscar who got stung by a bee - right on the lip

Rob's car has air conditioning. Unfortunately, it doesn't work, and since we drove HIS car to Spokane this weekend (my Pepe has a light on that indicates "DO NOT DRIVE ME LONG DISTANCES," or we'd have taken him), we had all the windows down most of the way there and back. Because summer has arrived like a huge drunken man in the West, sunburnt and slurring the days together into a hot miasma of WHY DON'T WE HAVE A/C?

I was flying my hand out the window, thinking "I am glad that I haven't outgrown this, what fun!" I was surprised that I hadn't outgrown it, but didn't realize it was still in me, because I am so rarely at highway speeds with the windows down. In that scenario there's a massive breeze, I have long hair, and the two don't mix over-well. Plus, the A/C in my car works, so massive breezes are not needed to cool anything.

However, at 100 degrees, massive breezes cool nothing. NOTHING.

Flying my hand, tolerating the hot wind, and all of the sudden there is a sharp pain in my finger. I had bitch-slapped a bumblebee. At highway speeds. It felt awesome.

As the bee smeared helpless across my hand, I flung the carcass to the floor and wiped the juice off and examined my stung ring finger. You know how you are supposed to flick a stinger out with a flat edge, rather than pull it out with tweezers? Squeezing the end with a pair of tweezers pushes more venom out into your flesh. Flicking it does not.

Both options require that the entirety of the stinger not be embedded 1/8-inch into the middle pad of your finger. There's got to be something to flick/tweeze, and I had nothing. Didn't even have a needle to dig it out like a splinter. And then it started to really throb - not enough to bring tears to my eyes, but enough to make me think that I prefer my hand to remain stinger-free most of the time. Including this time. Right this very second.

We pulled over and Rob grabbed the only sharp thing we had in the car: a razor blade, attached to his new mini-cutting tool. After performing minor surgery on myself (unaided, undrugged... I am TOUGH!), I was feeling much better, and I assured Rob that I'd make some clear sign, like punch him, if it turned out that I am allergic to bees after twenty-five unstung years.

I'm not. But now my ring is stuck on my finger because I didn't think to take it off pre-swelling, and using baby oil and dish soap last night just hurt like the dickens. Well, the oil and soap didn't, but my tugging and pushing and prying was uncomfy, because if I was going to get that ring off, by golly, it was going to TAKE MY FINGER WITH IT.

I'm going to be stepping careful for a while, because at the rate I'm going, that dust bunny in the corner is going to have me for lunch.