Thursday, July 18, 2013

Frag On, Frag On!

It's Friday Frag Time! Yay!

First, I must thank our host, Unknown Mami, for letting us all spill our guts about, well, basically alot of nothing!

Frag #1
My first frag is the fact that...I don't have many frags this week. I know, that's a cop-out. I have some family visiting from California (hi, mom!) and from New Mexico, so will be busy the next week or so with them. Which is great, because I love hangin with my mom!

Frag #2
Don't you just love good sheets? (That could sound totally wrong if you say it right. Or wrong.)

For some reason, the bottom sheet on our bed always gets all ripped up. It will be fine one day, then all of a sudden, the next day, it's all ripped up in one spot. And with no amorous activities going on the night before. I mentioned we have 7 dogs in our house, right? 5 of them sleep in our bed, along with the cat, so it's a little hard to get jiggy with it with 10 or 12 eyeballs staring at you. Unless you're into that sort of thing.

But anyway, back to the sheets. We bought new 500 thread count sheets and oh, how I love them! They're so soft and comfy I just want to slide into bed every chance I get! What a difference the higher thread count makes over the cheapo ones. I'll eat Top Ramen and pinto beans if I can just keep my good sheets!

And now you know how pathetic I am that this was one of the highlights of my week. Sheets. Well, sheeeet, is all I have to say about that.

Frag #3
Have you heard of 3D printers? My boss is buying one and all of us at work are pretty excited about it. It looks like this:

Looks like one of those food replicator things on Star Trek, doesn't it?

You can make plastic parts with this thing. MAKE them. Yourself. You use this fillament, which is like thick plastic wire on spools. You program the printer to make the item you want, and away it goes. I can't wait to see it in action. It sounds so Science fiction-y, doesn't it?

Frag #4
I wrote my post all about our camping trip, which I've been talking about for ages now and you are probably sick of hearing about. If you're interested in the details and funny stories and  awesome pictures, you can read it here. It's really not very long.

If you just don't have the time to hop over and check it out, then check out my camping comics below. One tells you pretty much how the fishing went and the other explains why we aren't allowed back in the campground again. Not really. I'm pretty sure we can go back. With disguises.

Click on the little 4-arrow thingy in the right corner to make the comic full size so you can see the whole thing. Click it again to make it go back.

So that's it for my frags this week. I know, not much here, right? I'll try to have something exciting to share with you next week.  Oh wait, let me share one more comic with you that I don't think you've seen. Can you tell I'm still addicted to this comic-making stuff??

Hope you have a great weekend!

Unknown Mami

Monday, July 15, 2013

Camping Stories of Fishing and Fire and Broken Toilets. Oh My.

You know what I love about camping?

I love sitting by the campfire, staring into the flames and thinking about everything and nothing.

I love listening to my itunes classic country playlist (with a little classic rock thrown in there too).

I love being with my family, unplugged and away from work, the bills, traffic, housework, laundry...etc.

I love fishing even when I don't catch anything.

I love drinking my coffee while listening to the birds and watching the morning sun shine through the trees.

I just love it all.

This year we went to Panguitch Lake, Utah. Did I tell you guys that in a prior post? I can't remember what I told you and what I didn't, because I know I've been talking about this trip for a month now. Anyhoo, it was beautiful. I shared a couple pictures in my Friday Frag post, but here's a few more:

Campground at Panguitch Lake
Do you smell the pine? Or maybe that's the bathroom not far away. I tell you the truth, I would be ok with an outhouse, if I had this view out the peephole everyday.

View from a scenic outlook of Cedar Breaks
This is Cedar Breaks, which is right near Panguitch.

View from an outlook point of Cedar Breaks
It's gorgeous, no?

Beautiful pine trees with the suns rays streaming through
The morning sun through the trees.

Me and my sissy. I'm on the left. I'm so not photogenic.

So, I'm sure you're all on the edge of your computer chairs, wondering how the fishing went. After all, we did have a fishing lesson and everything. Well, in the words of NASA as they described the Apollo 13 mission, it was a Successful Failure.

Oh, we spit on the marshmallows, and rigged our poles (well, actually, my uncle rigged them before we got up there), and tried the neon green bait, but them fish just weren't 'a bitin. Not to mention, the darn marshallows would not stay on the hooks. And they made a sticky gooey mess, which I proceeded to get all over my reel.

The best way to tell you exactly what happened is to *ahem* comic-fy it, of course!

So the chick with the weird looking blue hat on (in the comic) is me. It's supposed to me my "adventure hat" which I wear whenever I camp. It's the one I'm wearing above, in my picture with my sister. 

I used to have a cool adventure hat, like the one my sister is wearing (which we both bought in Zion), but I lost mine in the Virgin river when I dove off my inner tube and into the water to pull my little cousin out who had slipped off her inner tube. It sounds quite heroic when I say it like that, but it really wasn't a big deal - there were like, 4 of us with her and we all dove in after her, so she was fine.

The only casualty was my great hat. I had bought it a couple years prior, so when I went back to the same store to get it, they didn't have it anymore.

But, I digress. Back to my comic. I'm the one in the dorky blue hat and my sister is in the baseball cap. It was the closest thing to her adventure hat they had. In comic world. So here's my comic story of our fishing escapade:

(Click on the little 4 arrow thingy in the lower right corner of the comic to make it bigger)

Yup, that's pretty much how it went. I say it was a Successful Failure because we failed at catching any fish, but succeeded at relaxing by the water and enjoying the scenery. And that was just fine too.

I have to say, the campsites where we were (North campground at Panguitch Lake) were very nicely kept up. The camp hosts drove around in their little cart quite often to make sure everything was going smoothly for everybody.

The only negative is that the electricity went out in several nearby towns, which affected the pump that makes the toilets flush. (Oh yeah, at this campground they had flush toilets which I thought was real nice...except when the pump goes out and you can't use them).

So all the campsites - 30 or 40 - had to use one bathroom for one night. We stood in line for about 30 minutes and let me tell you, if there was ever a time I wished I were a guy, it was then. I could have just peed on a tree and been done with it.

But on the upside, we learned a little jingle while we were waiting in line. It goes like this:
"If it's yellow, let it mellow, but if it's brown, flush it down."

Catchy, ain't it? It's a helpful little ditty to remember when you have to conserve flushes.

Fortunately, the bathroom incident only lasted one night for a couple hours and all was well. Of course, to my sister, it didn't matter because she kept a coffee can in her tent which she used in the middle of the night.

I know.

I just hold it in the middle of the night cause in the cold and dark I ain't walking to the bathroom. Not my sister, she just pees in her can. Her husband thought it was such a good idea that he instructed their 8 year old son to do the same thing when he had to pee in the middle of the night.

This is your typical 8 year old boy, mind you, that can't even manage to make it into a toilet, let alone a 5-inch coffee can. Need I say more? They had to wash just about everything in the tent the next morning. Not fun.

On my list for next year is a porta-potty with a privacy tent thingy. Just in case of any more bathroom kerfuffles. (I always thought this was pronounced ca-fauff-el. I just googled the spelling and it looks like ker-fuffle. Huh. I've been saying it wrong this whole time. What a kerfuffle!)

This would work just fine with a poop bucket inside. It's on my wish list! Right underneath one of those baseball hats with the two beer holders and long straws. Please don't go - I'm just kidding! No really, I want one of these. 

Oh yeah, I forgot to show you our tent! This is the easy-up tent we got from Wal-Mart. I loved it! it was roomy enough inside for the two of us, and tall enough for my 6' 3" hubby to stand up inside. It rained on and off the whole time and not a drop got in the tent:

Isn't that the perfect spot between those two trees? It was nice and shady for hubby to nap.
Oh, so yeah, the weather. It did rain on and off, but I really didn't mind because we had an awning which we put over the picnic table. So whenever it rained, we all just gathered under it and played cards or whatever. This is the first year we bought an awning and I should have done it soooo much sooner. It was a lifesaver.

Matter of fact, one late afternoon, it started to sprinkle and was very cloudy and we knew it would not be "sittin around the fire weather". So we pulled the awning so it half covered the table, and half covered the firepit and we were able to sit by the fire out of the rain. 

And there's a story that goes along with that.

You see, my sister had a fire already going at her campsite next to us. We were going to sit around her fire, because her campsite had more room around the firepit than mine did. But the rain kind of changed that plan. Only she didn't have an awning and we didn't want to move ours all the way over to her campsite.

So my uncle had this idea that we could move her fire over to our firepit by carrying it. In a cardboard box. 

I know. 

He and my sister put the hot logs into a cardboard box and my sister starts carrying it over to our campground. Then my uncle tells her she better hurry. So she begins to run. Which fans the logs. 

Do you see where this is going?

Halfway to our campsite, which thankfully, was right next to hers, flames begin shooting out of the box. She begins to run faster and drops the whole mess into our firepit.

Now, I'm just sitting by our firepit thinking how calm and nice the campground is, when I look up and see my sister running towards me with a box on fire. A tad unnerving.

But all was well, and we ended up with a nice roaring fire (no doubt due to the nice cardboard kindling) and we were dry.

You didn't think I'd tell this story without a comic to illustrate it now, did you?

Yup, that's pretty much how it went.

Oh, and speaking of fires, remember my sister's fire starters which she made out of lint, egg cartons, and wax? Well, by golly if they didn't work great! Who knew? I hate admitting when she's right.

Oh, and also speaking of fires, the forest fire I mentioned in my last post, which is in nearby Mt. Charleston, is now 70% contained! Such good news!

Yes, I get the irony of us almost burning down the woods at Panguitch Lake and me being relieved the fire at Charleston is almost out.

So I'll end this post now, but just wanted to tell you one more thing we did on our trip.

Several years ago, we spread some of my dad's ashes at a nearby camping area, a place he used to take us often. We've camped there several times since then and always went to the place and said hello. But we haven't been back there in about 3 years. So since we were nearby, my sister, my uncle (my dad's youngest brother AKA Roger in the cartoon), and I went by to see dad.

We had heard they changed the campground quite a bit and moved spots and we weren't sure if we could find the spot where he was, or if we could still access it. We were relieved that we could.

It was good to say hi. It's such a familiar, happy place for us all. We wished dad could have been there with us on all the camping trips my sister, brother, and I have taken since he's been gone. But we knew he was there with us, really. No camping trip is complete without us telling a story or two about my dad while we're sitting around the fire. I'm sure he was listening. Probably correcting us when we got the details wrong.

My uncle told us that dad had taken us to Panguitch Lake a couple times too. I never knew that. I began to think about the fact that campsites have been around for decades, and have seen lots of families come and go. I wish I'd known which spots we had camped in because I wondered if I stood in those spots long enough, would I hear or see ripples of our past time there? Would I see dad for just a minute?

Probably not, because someone would be honking, yelling at the crazy lady to get out of their campsite.

Anyway, it was a great trip and I'm ready to camp again. I'm thinking of taking a girl's camping trip with just my sister and my cousin in September. We'll see if we can swing it.

Thanks for indulging me and reading this post and I'll talk to y'all later. And sorry for the constant redneck English. Camping brings it out in me.

Campy Me,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Frag On Friday!

Hi Y'all!

I missed Friday Frags last week because I was camping, but I'm back with some short, but fun fragments this week. Thanks again to Claudya at Unknown Mami for hosting this fun meme each week this Summer!

Aaaand off we go....

Frag #1
Camping! We had a great time camping at Panguitch Lake, Utah last week. It was sooo nice to get out of the 115 + degree weather here in Vegas. It was 80 during the day and 40 or cooler at night at Panguitch. Heaven!

I'm posting some stories, comics, and pictures of our adventure on Saturday, but let me leave you with these for now:

Cedar Breaks, Utah. No filter on this baby. Just pure, unadulterated beauty.

Panguitch Lake, Utah. Ok, I did play with filters a bit on this one.

Full camping details in my post on Saturday, I promise!

Frag #2
I get telemarketer calls ALL the time at work. This is the conversation of one, this week:

Telemarketer: May I speak to the owner?
Me:                No, he's not in. (stock answer to telemarketers)
Telemarketer: When will he be in?
Me:                May I tell him who's calling?
Telemarketer: It's personal.
Me:                May I tell him what company you're with?
Telemarketer: I'm calling from the office of Perry Bush.
Me (and I swear, I honestly did not understand the first name) Harry Bush?
Telemarketer:  *Silence*
Me:                 Did you say Hairy Bush?
Telemarketer:  *Laughing*  PERRY. PERRY BUSH
Me (finally getting why this is so very, very, funny): Ohhhh. PERRY. Yeah, I thought the other one sounded funny!

I think she'll think twice about the fake name she chooses to give next time.

Frag #3:

There have been 5 wildfires raging in our state (Nevada) this month, all at the same time. One is very close to Las Vegas. It's the Carpenter One fire (I have no idea why it's called that), about 40 minutes North of us in Mt. Charleston.

Mt. Charleston is a beloved getaway for all Las Vegans. It's a beautiful area with hiking trails, campsites, many homes, a couple of lodges, and cabins. 28,000 acres have burned since it started on July 3rd. It's so sad for everyone who lives here, and especially for those that live on the mountain. Residents up there have been evacuated and they are hoping and praying that they have homes to return to.

Our sky has been filled with smoke and ash for days. Today there was a little rain and there is supposed to be some up on the mountain, so we're all hoping it helps the firefighters get the blaze under control. Here's a couple pictures of the smoke from our house:

The sun is just a little red dot amidst all that smoke.

It's a very eerie sky.

Here's the smoke billowing from the mountain at night.

I'm hoping and praying that the firefighters get it contained and stay safe doing it.

Frag #4
I want to leave this on a positive note, so here's a couple new comics I made at Pixton. Click on the little 4-arrow thingy on the lower far right corner of the comic to make it bigger.

Hee hee. That second one is me and my hubby.

If you want to try your hand at comic making, click here and register at Pixton for a free account. Give it a try, so I can have a comic-making buddy!

Well, that's it for my frags this week. Hope you had a good week and please stop back by to read my camping story on Saturday. If you want to. No pressure.

If you want to read more frags, or frag yourself (heh, heh. That sounds wrong), then hop on over to Unknown Mami and link up!

Unknown Mami