marriage

That Time A Bear Ruined My Honeymoon

bear-crossing-warning-8777653
“How do you feel about the eighteenth?” I asked Jim, my fiancé at the time, while trying to plan our trip. I’d never desired a wedding, so we chose to elope and surprise everybody.

“Works for me,” he shrugged.

“Okay cool because Aunt Flo will happen the week before so I think we’d be clear even if I was late, but there’s no way I’d be that early.”

“Whatever you wanna do is fine with me,” he said kissing the top of my head.

“Cool! We have a wedding date!”

Fast forward to August 19th, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We had just become husband and wife, and were enjoying our week long honeymoon. We were hiking a trail that ran along the perimeter of Leigh Lake. It was close to sunset. We rounded a corner….and froze.

black bears photo: BROWN BEAR black-bear1.jpg

We’d read all the advisories: “what to do if you come face-to-face with a bear“:

Don’t turn your back to them, it’s too submissive and they will attack.

Don’t look them in the eye, it’s a challenge to them.

Don’t run, you’ll elicit a chase.

Back away slowly so they know you’re not a threat.

But when fear seizes your throat, the fright and flight instinct has a way of moving your muscles for you.

We turned around, immediately breaking the first rule. Shocked. Scared. We began walking away, quickly, but good lord it was such an effort to keep from running. We had no idea if it was following us.

After what seemed like forever and every cuss word in the book uttered under panicked breath, we braved a quick, over-the-shoulder glance.

Whew! The trail was clear, but we didn’t slow our pace. Gripping each other’s arms we continued to fast-walk the hell outa there.

“Wow, that fucker was huge,” I panted. “It was so creepy the way it was just standing in the trees, swaying.”

“Standing? I saw it run across the trail towards the water. Looked like a baby.”

black bears photo:  z_IMG_5079.jpg

A chill ran up my spine. “Mother of God, there were two! A mother and her baby! Mothers are the most aggressive!”

growling bear photo: BEAR species-spotlight-grizzly-bear-brown-mouth-open-black-nose-attacking-growling-biting-photo.jpg

“Holyshitholyshitholyshit we were just so damn lucky!” he said glancing over his shoulder again.

As soon as we confirmed she wasn’t after us, we started running. In fact we ran like chicken-shits all the way back to the car.

Half an hour later we arrived at our hotel room, still shaken, not able to believe what had just happened. You hear about seeing bears in the wild, but when you actually see one right in front of you, it’s astonishing how terrified and vulnerable you feel.

I went to the restroom to empty my full bladder, relieved I hadn’t peed my pants in the woods, and that’s when I realized something horrific.

The bear sighting had scared me so bad, it awakened Aunt Flo.

 Three weeks early.

On my honeymoon.

That bitch.

angry woman photo: k305zg305n kad305n angry-woman.jpg

Hell hath no fury like a woman whose honeymoon has just been hosed.

Have you ever had a bear encounter, or seen some other large animal in the wild? Or, have you ever had a vacation ruined by something unexpected? I love to hear your stories!

I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop

Lucy! You’ve Got Some ‘Splaining To Do!

I think every relationship has a Lucy and a Ricky. The Lucy obviously being the one who’s always getting into trouble, having to be reminded of everything, can be expected to screw up, etc. In our marriage, that’s yours truly. Or it was. Until this past Spring….

My husband and his buddy decided they could build a patio cover for our existing arbor by themselves. Who needs professionals, right? They had “built stuff” before and owned lots of tools, that’s all it requires, right? With an almost cocky confidence and a case of beer, they set off to make a patio cover. I begged Jim to call someone qualified was slightly doubtful, but tried to be optimistic. After all, this DIY project had the potential to save us thousands of dollars.

My Bob Vilas

My Bob Vilas working hard

For two solid weekends they toiled on our arbor until announcing it was finished. They couldn’t wait for the first rain to test their labor of love. We all stood underneath the patio, anxiously looking up. Hey, no leaks! It actually worked! They patted themselves on the back and strutted like peakcocks for days.

About a month later we had torrential rain for a solid week. One morning I stepped on the tile at the backdoor to let the dog out, and it squished under my feet! Water was bubbling through the grout! As I inspected the area (in a panic at this point) I noticed a giant bulge in the drywall over the door.

Uh...dear...I think there's a problem

Uh…dear…I think there’s a problem

Turns out there wasn’t enough of an incline for rainwater run-off because my Bob-the-Blunders didn’t think the type of shingles they used would need it. Also, in their infinite wisdom, they hadn’t put up splash guard, so now gallons of rainwater was being absorbed by porous grout and sucked into our house….along the entire length of the family room. I suddenly could relate with Walter from Money Pit, in that delirious moment when the bathtub falls through the floor and he comes completely unglued in hysterical fits of laughter.

we didn't need that money anyway

we didn’t need that money anyway

What I didn’t realize until months of tile replacement, cussing, caulking, check writing, ranting quiet meditation was the gift this colossal F#@* UP truly was. In that moment, every idiotic thing I’d done up to that point was erased. I was a clean slate, and frankly, would never have to worry about doing stupid shit again, because nothing ever, ever, never, ever is going to trump the time Jim rotted the back of the house off.

I’m the new Ricky, and damn if these pants aren’t comfortable!

Does your relationship have a Ricky/Lucy dynamic? If so, which are you? Have you or your other half ever done anything SO bad the tables turned? DO TELL!

How Many F#!@% Cats Do You Have?

This is my inaugural Finish The Sentence Friday Post! With this particular prompt, I couldn’t resist. You’ll see why:

One Halloween I…

met the greatest guy in.the.world. I was at a bar with a friend, and this cute guy asked Frank-the-bartender who the girl with the beautiful smile was. Three hours of non-stop chatter later, I gave the cute guy my number on a cocktail napkin. We still have that napkin.

That cute guy had his work cut out for him. For one, at that time I had eight cats. Let that sink in for a minute. Eight. Cats. For some insane reason, that didn’t deter him. He not only pretended to like them in the beginning, he scooped litter and cleaned hairballs for fifteen years until the last one passed away.

PaPa?

He tolerated the year I quit smoking, which is also the year I chewed Nicorrette gum and gained twelve pounds, which is also the year he woke up with Nicorrette gum stuck in his armpit hair cuz I always fell asleep with the gum in my mouth. He patiently helped while I graduated college, supported me when I decided what I really wanted to do had absolutely nothing to do with my degree, and cheered me on through years of trying to figure myself out.

He has an incredibly stressful job…but you’d never know it. Somehow he’s able to leave his high-stress world at the door when he comes home to us, always making time to take the boys for a bike ride, or help with homework, or wrestle with them before bedtime. And I don’t think a day has gone by in over 17 years that he hasn’t told me I’m beautiful.

He changed diapers, scoops poop, walks dogs, makes my coffee Every.Single.Morning, puts up with my crazy antics, tolerates the fact that I don’t like to cook, and how I always leave that one cabinet door open. His family is awesomesauce, (yes, even my MIL!) and he didn’t care that I didn’t want a wedding. I’m in absolute awe of his patience and tenacity, and I’m so proud of the husband, father, and bad-to-the-bone mountain biking athlete he is.

my bad-ass better half

my bad-ass better half

If you know me, you know I’m not a mushy girl. This post is probably the mushiest thing I’ve ever done for him. To this day, I’ve only mustered the L-word a few times, you know, on very special occasions. We don’t throw it around like “hello” and “goodbye”. In fact, we literally say “L-word” in lieu of the other three words. If I do say “it”, I have to throw in cuss words to make it sound less fluffy. I’m adorable like that.

Fortunately, he’s the same way, although he’d admit to being the more sentimental one. In fact, it’s uncanny how alike we are. There’s no doubt in my mind that Halloween night of 1996 was Devine Intervention. The Universe…or maybe guardian angels…making sure I got someone who would take care of me (and all my crazy animals) forever.

So without further ado, Happy Halloweenaversary, Jim. I fucking love the shit outta you. (I tried, but I still have to cuss. Some things never change)

*This post is part of Friday’s Finish the Sentence Blog Hop, hosted by Finding Ninnee, Kate Whinehall, Mommy is For Real and Confessions of a Mommyaholic

Finish the Sentence Friday

No wig needed – I’ve got mascara

If you’ve been to this blog before you’ve probably seen one or two photos of me floating around somewhere. THEY’RE ME. I swear. That’s something I’ve actually had to say to my family.

I think they look exactly like me. I’m mean, it’s frickin’ ME. I turned the cell phone around and snapped the photos myself – that’s how I know it’s not an imposter. That’s also why it shocked me when my husband AND CHILDREN repeatedly swore the photos didn’t look like me.

uh…how am I supposed to take that?

After hearing my husband say it again, I had to ask him: in what way do they not look like me? Like, they are pretty photos and I’m a barker in real life? Or, they are awful and I’m prettier than that? Or, they are weird and not a representation of me at all? WTF?

He said, “You look sexy. You have on lipstick and stuff.”

ME: “Oh” *puzzle pieces click* “You mean I usually don’t look that made up?”

HIM: “Not really. If you have a bra on in that photo…that would pretty much be our wedding day.”

Well shit. I realize I’m a low-maintenance, crunchy granola type gal, but it’s more than a little disconcerting to know I could disappear into the witness protection program with a little mascara. I mean, I put no effort into those photos.

No really. I took my hair out of a ponytail and put on tinted chapstick. And my children think it looks like someone else. Some other lady.

ahem. Perhaps I should put more effort into my everyday appearance.

*braids hair* *climbs into tree house* Nah.
tree-house-5264768

Happy Birthday, Sweetie…

TODAY is my husband’s birthday. That poses more problems that you would think. It’s very hard to buy for him. Why? Because he shops for himself so damn much he has freaking everything. He is a deal-hound with shopping tenacity that beats me down to NO end.

I. Don’t. Shop.

THAT IS WHY when he told me last week specifically what he wanted: the brand, the size, color, and where to buy it, I said, “done and done!”

FRIDAY, I took the Chaos Elves into a store (this is ill advised) and we picked out several of these *special* workout shirts for him per his very specific instructions. We were in/out in ten minutes. Frickin’ brilliant.

PLEASE recall this was Friday, after a week of being home with the elves for five days – 11 hours a day – and it was now evening and I’m wondering where my husband is at 7:00, starving-because-he’s-supposed-to-be-picking-up-our-food, when I get this text:
(mine are in green)

photo

A) Yes. Those shirts he’s asking me about are precisely the ones he told me to buy for him. AND he’s out shopping when he should be home. With food.
B) Note that my needs have heavily prioritized to food at this point.
C) I am very cranky when I get hungry.
D) We have been together 17 years. How has this man not learned when it is time to feed me?
E) You’re right, that was a harsh word to say to my husband on his birthday weekend. He’s such a great man, really. Okay, I take back “Duh”.
EFF!) It took me 17 times to get this text photo to upload right. I said bad words. I hope I get more tech-savvy soon.