Thursday, May 28, 2009


As in, I have the fantods. I am anxious and jumpy and irritable. This trip to California is making me nuts. I knew Mark relied on me to make life function but until this trip I did not realize how much. Neither did he. We knew months ago about the trip. I occasionally asked about the arrangements and he assured me all was being taken care of. As we did not have ticket confirmation, room reservations or registration info for the conference I was dubious, and said so. He said I was a control freak and could not relax and let someone else take charge. This is a too true observation so I attempted to forget about it. Yet still something niggled at me.

I do not want to take this trip. I don't want to spend the money and I am fat. I will be fat and broke in the vacation paradise of the tanned and thin. I do not have any summer clothes that fit and I don't want to spend money on more. The clothes I do have are just dumb. Stacy and Clinton would have a hay day with me. Peg legged elastic waist jeans and plaid camp shirts. And big ole sneakers. And a sweater jacket with lawn chairs printed all over it. (I look like some one's grandmother.) And I have to stuff all of this in a suitcase the size of a breadbox. So I am anxious. On Tuesday to calm myself down I began inquiring in earnest about "the plans." You guessed it. Mark had relied on someone else to make all the arrangements. And she didn't. He was not registered for the conference, had no room reservations and no plane tickets.

After many panicked preparations and much money agony we now have very expensive plane which we cannot even sit together. He is in the front and I am in the back in the middle. As I haven't flown in 17 years and am worried about all the changes, not the least of which is the seat belt fitting, this just pisses me off royal. Instead of flying out of Jackson (close) we have to drive all the way to Salt Lake (far) and stay all night (expensive). Of course the Marriott and Hilton where the conference is being held are full so we are staying three "city blocks" away in some hotel I have never heard of. I has been years but as I remember "city blocks" are much larger than our small town blocks. Mark will have to leave well before 8am and won't arrive back at the hotel until after 5pm, leaving me marooned in there for eight solid hours. We can't even eat together at noon because all the seminars he was planning to attend are jam packed. The only open ones are during the lunch hours. I was going on this trip so we could spend some time together. The conference was presented to me as having a lot of open spaces in which we could sight see. Not. He might as well be at work. I am so mad I could spit. I am not a sit around the pool kind of a gal, if this new place even has a pool. I DO NOT want to spend eight hours in a high rise hotel room with no egress to the outside. I do not have the money to go shopping, or get spa treatments, or do much sight seeing. What the heck am I going to do for five days?

By the by, I can't stop eating. I was down to 193 then came the news about the non-registration and I promptly went back up to 199. I do mean promptly. I have gained five pounds in the past three days. sigh

Why don't I just stay home you ask? Let Mark stew alone in his self induced mess? Because he wants me to go. Really wants me to go. He says he will eat beans when we get home and will wear ragged clothes and ride his bike to work. But please won't I go. It's no fun without me. PHOOEY.

Helen prepare yourself, I'm coming. I will be the nervous plaid grandmother who looks madder than a wet hen. Phooey.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

All's Well...

On Saturday of our Yurt adventure we got up early and walked through the wetlands again. I had never seen live ducks like Daffy Duck. Completely black little ducks with bright yellow bills and feet. Herds of them. Unfortunately none of them spoke.

It was still raining and I had another massage scheduled at noon. After breakfast, to kill time until the massaging hour, we decided to drive around and see the local country. We headed south toward Utah. I am from farm country and do admire a well tended piece of ground. I was in hog heaven this whole excursion. All the farms were down on the valley floor and the houses overlooked them from the sides of the hills. These were old farms. Big mature trees and lush lawns around hundred year old houses and barns. If you plunked me down on one of those places I could be happy until the end of my days. Along the road we also stopped to see several historical sites. We learned about the Bear River Massacre, the prehistoric emptying of Lake Bonneville through Red Rock Pass and read several markers put up by Mormon families in honor of their homesteading ancestors. While we did all this it rained steadily. By the time we returned to the campgrounds I was sopping wet and frozen. I had a nice soak and then went in to have Mark's massage. I had scheduled one for each of us. He chickened out. Said he was not going to have some strange woman "rubbing" him. Too bad for him.

Now comes the not fun part of the trip. We skipped lunch because it was getting late and we wanted to get to Pocatello for a Wal-Mart run. We were going to eat there. We never did. And still it rained.

I hate Wal-Mart. I think they suck oxygen and joy out of the stores. After I have been in there for awhile I get woozy and mad. I hate myself and everyone in my vicinity. Mark walks behind me and pats my butt like you would do to a horse to urge it forward. This just makes me madder. Every three or four months we go into a big town to go to Wal-Mart. We were past due and out of everything. We spent three and a half hours in there. With no lunch, oxygen or joy. Two carts full of stuff later we finally left. We stuffed the car up to the gills. And then we proceeded to have a huge fight. A real donnybrook. I was hungry and tired and frustrated about spending a fortune on toilet paper and hoses and window shades. Mark was hungry and mad about spending our vacation time buying laundry soap, Swiffer Dusters and cans of garbanzo beans. The fight was about where to eat lunch. We never did eat. After the accusations and hollering were done we drove back to the campground in stony silence....

To a pre-scheduled romantic steak dinner for two in the campground grill to celebrate our anniversary. Ho, ho, ho. We arrived just in the nick of time, silent and wet, to the sweetest dinner anyone has ever prepared for us. They had cordoned off one end of the grill dining room and set up the table. Cloth table covering, napkins and candles. The lights were turned down low and soft music was playing. We were the only people in the dining room. Our table was against the floor to ceiling windows and over looked the hot springs. The springs were steaming because of the rain. The whole world was bathed in twilight fog. Could not have been more romantic. We were served a cocktail while out dinner was being prepared. The setting, the kindness and the alcohol had the intended affect. I started, "I behaved like an ass, again. I am very sorry. I hate Wal-Mart and I know not to skip meals." Mark's turn, "No I am the one to say sorry. I am not a twelve year old boy and I know we needed all that stuff. I was hungry before we even left the campground. Next time we will eat first, and then tackle Wal-Mart." We had another wonderful meal. We took our cheesecake back to the yurt and ate it after our final soak of the day. Then we turned in and had dessert.

I will write about the books next time. Take care. Love Bea

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yurts and More

It is gorgeous here today. Real birds and the snow birds are arriving in flocks. I am besieged by hummingbirds and motor homes. We live in a tiny rural hamlet and how people can mistake us for the fancy R.V. park ten miles down the road is beyond me. But they do. Yesterday someone from Georgia spent fifteen minutes driving around our four streets looking for the R.V. park. I guess the horses, chickens and pigs in the yards finally persuaded them they were in the wrong place. Brother.

I am frustrated living within our means. I want a new computer and we both need new glasses. The yard needs another load of gravel, we need a new picture window in the living room, and I am longing for another apple tree. But all that costs money, and we spent it on our yurt adventure. And we have to go to California next month. I do not want to spend the money to get and keep us there. This living without credit cards is a pain in the butt. In times past I would have put the computer, our yurt vacation and the California thing on the credit cards and then paid them off...slowly. I would have used cash for the glasses, tree and the home repairs. Not now. We are saving but that money is earmarked for our trip in October to friend Kim's wedding. So at this point I am just...waiting. Phooey.

On Friday of our yurt adventure we went sight seeing in the morning and spent the afternoon soaking and reading. Our first sight was the wetlands around the campgrounds. I know what sand hill cranes look like from a distance. I had never seen a flock of them up close. Wow. They sort of honk and they are tall. When they land they glide in like fighter planes. Their knees bend backwards. Mark thought he had died and gone to heaven. We almost did not leave the campground to see anything else. When I finally tore him away we drove into Pocatello and did the town. We saw Fort Hall, The Bannock County Museum, The Museum of Natural History and the Zoo. We toured the University. We had lunch in an Italian restaurant and visited a couple of book stores. We had a great time. Civilization is wonderful.

We got back to the hot springs about 3pm. It was raining. We put on our suits and dashed up to the hot pools. We soaked for half an hour while it rained on our faces. Heaven. We dashed back to the yurt and changed clothes. I turned on the fire place and made us cups of hot chocolate. We wrapped up in blankets and proceeded to read for the next several hours. About 7:30 we went back to the truck stop and had another wonderful meal. When we got back we soaked again. Bedtime was about 9pm with rain bouncing on the sky light. I wanted to move in forever.

Next time I will write about the books. I read them from cover to cover and learned much. I know the origin of my FEAR.

I hope all of you are having a good week. I am. Love Bea

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yurts To You

Well I had a splendid time.

First. I found a swim suit that fit at Wal-Mart. It cost $30 and I didn't have to do a thing to it.
Second. The yurt had carpet, a DVD player and mints on the pillows. Mark was disappointed. He was looking forward to the yak dung fire.
Third. I read those books until my eyeballs gave out.
Fourth. I climbed through an underground lava tube and slid down a twelve foot snow covered drop, in the dark.
Fifth. I ate everything in sight and lost a couple of pounds.

We left on Thursday. I was not sure I wanted to go. After working for days to get everything arranged and packed, I was frazzled and frustrated and given two cents I would have chucked the whole darn deal. I especially hated to leave Mollie at the dog jail. Mark calls it the dog spa, but Mollie and I know different. But leave we did. The drive over to Idaho was gorgeous. Mountains and lush green hills and birds of every description. Before going to the hot springs we went in to Pocatello so I could look for a total coverage swimsuit. Penny's and Sears were a bust. I was depressed, angry and knee deep in self loathing when Mark pulled into Wally World. This just made me madder. I knew I would find nothing in there but bikinis. I was wrong. I found a suit in jig time and we were out of there in half an hour. It was a miracle.

The hot springs (Downata Hot Springs) is in Downey Idaho and is about 40 miles south of Pocatello. Very majestic country that levels out into rolling hills. The resort is way off the main road in a small valley. The valley is a wet lands area. The Downata Springs comes out of the side of one of the hills and drains down into this shallow valley. Downata Hot Springs is 100 years old. It looks like a big park. Lots of mature trees and bushes and an acre of glowing green lawn. (Remember it was still winterish when we left. I hadn't seen grass in six months.) The resort consists of the pools, slides, pool house, office/store/grill, cabins, yurts and R.V. and camp sites. They also have tepees in the summer. It's big. We were the only people there on Thursday! Heaven.

Our yurt was plush. The floors are heated by the hot springs. Was cozy warm. The decor is Adirondack cabinish. We had a fridge, microwave, water cooler, sofa, queen size bed, table and a small electric wood burning style stove. The fridge was stocked with food for breakfasts for three days and we received a complimentary "goodie basket." Towels and bedding of course and plush robes for the treck to the hot pools. But no bathroom. The facilities were in a separate yurt about twenty feet from our door. We shared the two bathroom suites with the other three yurts. Mark hated this. The bathrooms were kept locked and the key was hooked to a long stick that was hung by the door in each yurt. This stick was the source of great trouble for us. I locked it inside the bathroom twice and dropped it in the commode once. One of us always had it when the other one needed it. Remembering Edina, Mark christened it the "talking stick" and kept offering to buy it. Was a pain.

We arrived at 6pm. I had a massage at 6:30 pm. Turned out the massage therapist had been stood up by someone and was looking for a replacement. I volunteered. The pool house had a sauna, two massage rooms and a "tranquility room." I have no idea what went on in there. Boy did I need that massage. She kept asking me, "Have you had a neck injury?" After the massage we soaked for half an hour in the little pool and watched the sun set through the trees. Then...we went to look for supper.

Turns out the grill was closed and the nearest restaurant was 30 miles away. "But you could eat at the truck stop at the end of the road." So we did. I had hamburger/tomato/macaroni soup and half and egg sandwich. I washed this down with a glass of milk and had rhubarb crumble and ice cream for dessert. I haven't had a meal like this since I was fourteen. Mark had fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans and bacon, and fried bread. He had lemon meringue pie for dessert. We drove back to the yurt and fell senseless into bed. The last thing I remember was watching the fire in the little stove and being so grateful to be alive.

Friday was yet to come. Love Bea