Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Travel

If you are traveling for tomorrow's holiday, click here to see what you have in store for you:


Monday, November 23, 2009

Making A List, and Checking It Twice

Every year, the Barnes clan creates and refines a very specific list to help with Christmas gift buying. Every single person in the family, including Grandma and Grandpa and assorted pets, all contribute to "the list." As commercialized as this sounds, having a list makes everyone's life easier. Aunt Sherri acts as list manager, and the children are never discouraged from putting anything on the list, no matter how extravagant. Some years, the list could make you cry if you put too much thought into it. I don't know how many years someone has listed "job," or in our case "baby." Some years the wishes are granted, and some items just stay perpetually on the list. Poor Alexis has had "dog" on her list every year since I've known her. Going on 8 years now. She's been optimistic enough this year to even specify a breed, (doberman) which I'm rooting for wholeheartedly. The dog people need to stick together.

This year, Uncle Daron has taken it upon himself to "help" the kids refine their lists. Items such as "a laptop" or "PSP with games" have been callously crossed out to reflect what Uncle Daron thinks they really need. After a quick glance at the boys list, I think I saw "Ritalin" and "a muzzle" as two not-so-helpful suggestions. Fortunately, the kids have a pretty good handle on Uncle Daron, and know when he's yanking their chain. I hope. Because, let's be honest- if Santa forgets to ever send us that baby on our list, these are the people that will be taking care of us in our old age. Hopefully they have a sense of humor!

Friday, November 20, 2009

No such thing as a free lunch

Poor long suffering Daron. For many years now, he’s borne the brunt of the many jokes levied against Team Barnes, and done so with relative grace and dignity. So in the spirit of Daron’s contributions, I submit to you one more humorous photo at his expense.

Working at a busy GYN practice, we often have drug reps and various other riffraff lobby for our business. Prescribe Yaz! Loestrin24 is better! Can we bring you lunch??!! Normally I would object to this sort of blatant buying-of-my-affection, but the lure of free Cheesecake Factory is too strong. Everyone has a price, and mine happens to be bowtie pasta, and keylime cheesecake. Oh, yeah, I totally stick them for dessert too. This works out well, because the portions are nice and large. Most of the ladies eat theirs two days in a row, but not me. This is my ticket to NOT fixing dinner that night!! Whoo Hooo!! Daron graciously eats what’s put in front of him, and nary a complaint. Everyone wins, right???

So what is it about a teensy little biohazard emblem that gets people so upset? It’s just a bag. There really isn’t any biohazard in there. I promise. You would think after 5 years of biohazard doggie bags, Daron would be used to this? Judging by the picture, I guess not.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

This weekend was an exciting milestone in Daron's life- his first NFL football game! I had orginally tried to have it be a surprise for him, but since he's not content to just let things be, he had to figure it out ahead of time. I probably gave him too much advance notice, but when it comes to weekends during hunting season, I had to get on his calendar early. We made a nice weekend out of it, with a stay at the swanky Westin, some shopping, and dinner at a nice sushi restaurant. All in all a VERY fun weekend. The weather at the game was 73 degrees and sunny, and the Panther's won!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh for the love...

Today was supposed to be D-Day. D as in "Deliver the Washer," or "Do the laundry." I say supposed to, because I'm out $539.10, and still have no working washer. Daron and I clearly differ on what constitutes a working washer.

2:21pm, Elisa calls home: Hi! Soooooooo. How does she look? Do I have a new washer?

Daron: Yes and No.

Elisa: What do you mean, yes and no? It's a simple question really.

Daron: Welllll. You know that thingy that hooks the hose to the wall? It's busted. I'm trying to figure out if it's something I can fix or not.

Elisa: (taking deep breaths) Do you understand the peril that we're in? Everything we own is dirty. I needed that thing to be hooked up TODAY.

Daron: You can wash clothes, you just have to wash them in cold.

Elisa: You can't wash clothes in cold, they don't get clean.

Daron: I washed everything in cold before I met you. You totally can do it.

Elisa: I gotta go.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Today is the day when we recognize the tremendous sacrifice of all of our veterans, past present and future. Freedom isn't free, and these men and women know that more than anyone. They leave their homes and loved ones, and travel to the ends of the earth to serve their fellow man.

My favorite veteran is my dad. He served a few years in the Navy, but spent his entire career as a civilian working for the Army at White Sands Missile Range. Those of you that know my dad, know that he's had the same military crew-cut since he was 11 years old. My friends used to affectionately call him "the colonel" because of his intimidating demeanor, and way of scaring potential suitors off with one stern look. Only the very best and brightest boys dated his daughters. Even then, only the very cream of that crop got to marry them! My dad is still a patriot, frequently donning his Navy uniform, and serving as part of the honor guard at Veterans funerals. I'm sure he considers it his great honor and privilege to do so.

Dad, we love you and sure are proud of you!! Thanks for instilling in us our love of God and country, and the respect for those that make our many freedoms possible.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Yeah, I wussed out. The techy, nerdy, shopaholic in me wanted the beautiful new front-loaders, with matching beautiful dryer, both in classy yet exotic color. The scrooge in me bought the same machine that I had before. Only 7 years newer. Oh yeah, the fact that I had mister stingypants whispering in my ear the whole time didn't help either. So yeah, new washer, but not excited. He baited me with the whole "the money we could save" thing, and slyly hinted at a new dishwasher as an enticing concession. How is it I came out sans beautiful washer/dryer, and NO dishwasher? He wisely played the Christmas card, which trumped my but-we-have-money-in-savings card. Well played Daron, well played.... Your ability to hang on to a dollar will be what keeps us from eating catfood in our old age.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Ever watch NCIS? Gibbs would tell you that there's no such thing as a coincidence. Like the fact that my washer blows up 3 days before tax-free appliance weekend? Who knew that Obama's stimulus money was going to benefit me in any shape, form, or fashion... That being said, I've been researching consumer reports, and weighing the benefits of the good old fashioned top loaders (like I have. correction: HAD), or the fancy, pretty, colorful new front loaders that look so cool. Oh yeah, and cost double. One thing I've been reading pretty consistently is that people have problems with mold? Mold around the door, and seal? I need comments, people. Who loves theirs, and who hates theirs? And why?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I know what you're thinking. KISS costumes are a risky choice for a ward Trunk-or-Treat. Right on the borderline between totally awesome, and "the bishop needs to see you." We talked a lot of trash last year about our costumes, only to be outdone by the Carlile family and their Ghostbusters/Slimer trifecta. This year, we enlisted the help of our friends to make sure we had a lock on "Best Costume." Nevermind that the Carliles added additional progeny this year, we still took home the prize!!Fortunately for us, our ward has a sense of humor, and there were no Bishop's summonses or releases from callings. It was quite a process, getting the boys costumes to this point. There were several construction meetings at our house to ensure continuity of theme. We sewed every single stitch ourselves. Plus, obscene amounts of cardboard, glue gun, bedazzler, and spandex!!!

So remember last year when I featured Sushi eating hotdogs? Apparently the menu hasn't changed, because Gene Simmons eats hot dogs too!!! Who knew??

These costumes were a tremendous amount of work, only to be worn for an hour. We decided that IHOP would be a worthy venue for our three rock stars to further debut their look. Being the night BEFORE Halloween, I'm sure we caught some people off guard, but the IHOP employees were good sports too! They were quite patient as several patrons took pictures with their IPhones.

Perhaps my favorite photo of the evening is one of our niece Alexis with her uncle Daron. Check out the pure humiliation! Being related to people that aren't "normal" must be a real strain for her. She bore it somehow, and managed to show her face at the IHOP with us.

Thanks again to everyone that played along with us, and helped perpetuate this Halloween spectacle. And an honorable mention to the Carliles, who were such good sports, even in defeat! Your Captain Crunch/ SnapCracklePop/ TrixRabbit/LuckyCharm were flawlessly executed, but ultimately no match for Rock and Roll Royalty...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Creepy? Sad? Or Both?

Sometimes there’s nothing sadder than realizing that things get old, wear out, or outlive their usefulness. The only thing sadder than realizing this, is refusing to accept it.

Case in Point: Rick Springfield. Icon of my youth. Major crush of mine spanning 4th – 6th grade. (4th grade was when Andy Gibb was unceremoniously dethroned, and Rick took his place. Andy was gracious, of course, but then again, 10 year olds are fickle. Come on, “Jessie’s Girl?” Andy couldn’t compete with that.) My parents are reading this right now, and thinking, “I had no idea she had a thing for these people…??” Yeah, that’s why they’re called SECRET CRUSHES. No one needs to know, certainly not parents. Parents could only use that kind of information against you, so needless to say, I held my cards close. Mom and Dad, I trust you far more now. Does that help?

Ok, so fast forward 25 years. Time hasn’t been kind to Rick, and that makes me sad. Not that he’s gotten old, but that he just keeps on truckin’, and clearly under bad management.
Sometimes it’s ok to retire, and enjoy your sunset years. I’m begging you Rick, please retire before you ruin all happy childhood memories for me! Before I can’t get the seared-in image of your creepy too-tight facelift, and man eyeliner out of my head. 60 year olds don’t rock, (notable and obvious exception: David Gilmour of Pink Floyd) so please stop embarrassing yourself. Take a page out of Mark Harmon’s book, and become a silver fox! No eyeliner necessary. Besides, I’m fairly sure if Mark Harmon saw you wearing eyeliner, he would take you down. Just out of principle.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tailgating - California Style!

I’m sick of talking about squirrels. Let’s talk about football!! Fall is that great time of year when the weather changes, pumpkins start becoming part of the d├ęcor, and people start talking about football. On my multi-stop trip out west, I made a very brief stop in San Francisco for a concert and a 49er’s/Seahawks football game. This being my very first NFL game, I was in for an adventure! We had heard that the city buses that run to Candlestick Park fill up fast, so we planned ahead, and ended up getting there about two hours early. Two hours afforded us an opportunity to get to know the 49er’s tailgaters in a way that we didn’t expect. These were the most FRIENDLY, welcoming people that I’d ever met. Complete and total strangers, they invited us to share their meal, and watch the Raiders game on the flat screen they had set up. I’m not sure that plasma tv’s were meant to be compatible with rabbit ears and generators, but it totally worked. What was even more fun, was the fact that not a single one of these fans even had tickets to the game! They were just there for the tailgating.

If you think this setup is impressive, check out the satellite dish, and FIVE TV’s the people across from us had going!

Ok, I submit the picture below to prove the point that all people can exist in harmony. If you ever watched Sesame Street’s “one of these things is not like the other…” this might very well be the adult example of that. We watched these 49er’s fans incredulously- torn between their love of the game, and their inability to leave their privileged lifestyle behind for a couple hours. Yep, in this photo you see a Lexus, a real picnic basket, tablecloth, and fresh bloody mary's complete with celery stalk. A spread that could only be achieved by an upper echelon of society that I'm not at all familiar with. However, the cheap wooden tray tables proved that no matter how much money you make, there's a little bit of Walmart in all of us! HILARIOUS.

All in all, the game was tons of fun. And I learned one thing: if your stadium has an offer to “report BADFAN behavior by texting ****”….. Security WILL come. Don’t ask me how I know this. This little college reunion was short, but sweet. I really enjoyed getting to see my hometown friends again, and jam packing five days worth of fun into two short days. I’m already thinking I need to plan a longer trip next time, so I can see my west coast family. (Uncle Phil and Aunt Sharon, I hope you don’t mind visitors!!??)

Stay tuned.... next post: Seattle, and my day with Lucy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Reader Questions Answered!

There have been several questions regarding the new method of squirrel regulation at our house. Here’s an update to answer some of your most burning questions:

Q: Did we eat him?
A: We most certainly did not. Being married to a wildlife biologist, I am a reasonably good sport about trying different cuisines of varying species. I said TRY. Not enjoy. Not put into recipe rotation. My reasoning is admittedly prideful. At this point in time, I make far too much money (any amount is too much) and have endured enough years of schooling, to even entertain the thought of eating a tree rat. Prideful yes, apologetic no. Karma may come back and bite me on this one, but I’m going to risk it.

*Interesting side note: Put a bunch of biologist’s (mostly male, all hunters) together in a work environment, and their work potlucks evolve into a “hey, top THIS” mystery meat bonanza. The equation is simple: mystery meat + crock pot + barbeque sauce = mmm mmm good. Just don’t ask where it came from. Creepy, huh?

Q: Can I come shoot squirrels too?
A: In my wildest dreams, it never occurred to me that I would grow up to have a snipers nest set up in our upstairs office. I'm going to have to say no, since I happen to know that NONE of my girlfriends have valid hunting permits.

Q: Method of Disposal?
A: Originally, the plan was to toss the squirrel into the backyard and let Skip have his way with it. After all, six years of frustration warrant a few minutes of retribution on his part. We quickly decided that letting our beloved (ok, my beloved) house pet devour a wild animal, fleas, plague, rabies, hantavirus, and all, wasn’t the best idea. Picture this: Skip with beloved trophy in mouth, gleefully running the perimeter with his fresh-from-the-tree treat in his mouth. Daron, chasing ecstatic dog around the yard, trying to recover said tasty treat. Poor Skip. The Dad giveth, and the Dad taketh away. He now lies on the back stretches of our property, not buried. Not buried, because we realized that we loaned our shovel out (Hi Sofia!), and need to get it back. Sooner than later.

Q: Survivor’s Guilt?
A: Some. Granted, I was raised in the school of “eat what you kill,” but I didn’t consider eating this one, even for a minute. Going forward, we may need to come up with a strategy that will ease my guilt a little. Organic dogfood? Addition to Daron’s skull collection? I’m open for ideas. Please nobody suggest Brunswick Stew. Google it if you don’t know what I mean. Or click on this link:


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Squirrel Update

Elisa: 1
Squirrel: 0
Times shot new gun: 1
Insanely proud husband: 1
Confused, but ecstatic dog: 1

That's right folks. One shot. You thought I was kidding?

Friday, October 9, 2009

The name's Mayer... Oscar Mayer...

For your Friday viewing pleasure, I'm posting this pre-Halloween picture for you. For those of you who have ever thought you were married to a real wiener, take heart. I actually have photographic evidence to back my claim.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Family Is Forever

Today is a sad day for the Barnes/Cope clans. We lost our dear friend and family member Ray Cope yesterday, after some unexpected surgical complications. Ray was a great guy, a good time, and an even better grandpa! He absolutely adored his 3 grandchildren, and made sure they never wanted for a single thing. Ray, we will miss you at the Barnes gatherings! There wasn't a 4th of July, Thanksgiving, or Christmas Eve that I can remember where you and Liddy and Granny weren't there celebrating with us. Thank goodness for our knowledge of forever families, and the promise of being reunited with our loved ones who have passed. We will miss you...

Monday, September 28, 2009


A dichotomy is two seemingly contradictory things thrown together for your Monday blog amusement.
Just because I pack a Coach bag, don't assume that I'm not comfortable around guns. (Thanks Dad!) I'm fairly sure that me owning a 9mm Beretta was one of the deciding factors in whether Daron proposed marriage or not. The charming personality and quick wit were just bonuses!

At the Barnes household, we have a bit of a squirrel problem. We happen to own a dog bred for squirrel hunting. One little backyard, 65 taunting squirrels, and no way to catch one has turned our dog into a frustrated mess. Here's where the GAMO Air Rifle comes in... Believe me, I've done some research, and this is going to be fun as well as effective. Will I feel badly about blasting those poor squirrels? Maybe, but I'm sure it will pass soon enough. Besides, squirrel season starts on Thursday, and that makes us totally legit!!

We haven't really thought as far as disposal yet. I really think the minute squirrels start falling from the sky like manna from heaven, Skip will make sure disposal isn't an issue. (Are squirrels fattening? They're all natural, right? I'll have to ask the vet...)

Happy Hunting Everyone!!!

*Disclaimer: if you belong to PETA, think hunting is wrong, hate guns, love squirrels, or any combination thereof... please know that I'm a big fan of the 2nd Amendment (Bill of Rights). We may just have to agree to disagree. Besides everyone knows that girls that shoot guns are totally hot.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Seattle or Bust

Dear Readers,
This post finds me in better spirits. Approximately 24 hours after I started, I finally arrived in Seattle. The weather here is gorgeous, and I'm going to see one of my favorite bands tonight!!! My luggage arrived without incident (I was right to be worried, though, right?) and I'm in clean clothes for the first time since yesterday morning. Pee-ewww. My friends were kind enough not to comment on my uncharacteristicly disheveled state. I'm going to have some great fun this week!! I miss my boys (Hi Daron, Hi Skip!), but I've been looking forward to this week for a while.... See you all when I get back!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009


So after leaving my house about 9 hours ago, I'm no closer to Seattle than when I started. I'm in lovely Saugus, Massachusetts (slums of Boston) after an airline debacle of epic and Xanax worthy porportions. Here's the day in numbers:

Hours sat on Raleigh runway: 1.5
Runways operating at Boston airport: 1
Connections missed: 1
Number of gate agents spoken to in Boston: 16
Number of helpful gate agents: 0
Terminals directed and redirected to: 3
Pairs of sensible traveling shoes worn: 0
Pairs of cute, non-sensible shoes worn: 1
Hurt Feet: 2
Bag missing: 1
Hotel paid for with my hard earned $$ because delay was deemed "non-mechanical"... :1
Hours spent at overpriced hotel before 4am shuttle comes to retrieve me: 6
Chance of me flying with a Boston connection again: ZERO!!!
Chance of this ruining my excellent Seattle vacation: ZERO!!

That is, unless they fail to locate my bag. Then I'm totally screwed..... :(

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Ok, so I feel a little guilty posting about MY birthday, when I so conveniently skipped over Daron's birthday. I just had so much to post at that time, that it sort of slipped by. So yeah, yesterday was my birthday. I'm not going to tell you how old I am, because I feel practically decrepit. Here's a hint for you: My senior year of High School, the #1 song was "More Than Words" by Extreme. Yeah, go Google that. No, no... I'll wait...... So now that you know how old I am, I'll tell you that the birthday day was nothing special. Why? Because I did the grown-up thing, and went to work. Now, I know people that don't work on their birthday, and that's a personal choice. I just know that I need to save my days for really important things, like cross-country concerts, vacations, etc. I will tell you one thing that surprised me, and made me feel really good- the SHEER NUMBER of people that posted Birthday messages on my Facebook page. If you don't believe me, go check it out. But only if you're my friend and can see my page. If you're not my facebook friend, then it's a little awkward that you're reading this.

Here is a picture of my two very most favorite North Carolina nieces. The awesome Alexis, and the darling Olivia. See Olivia's face? She's still a little bummed because her campaign for an IPOD touch was (again) an epic failure. Her disappointment was apparent to everyone; even the soft red glow of the Target sign couldn't hide it. I tried to make her feel better by telling her that even with a full-time job, I couldn't afford the IPOD touch that I want, but it fell on deaf ears. I may not have gotten an IPOD touch, but that IS a fabulous new Coach bag on my arm. (Thanks for noticing!) My very generous husband and BFF/SIL Sherri, made sure that my birthday was a great one by giving me this lovely gem of a bag. Jealous much? You should be.

To cap off a lovely day, we met our friends at Coldstone for some birthday ice cream. Coldstone is as delicious as it is overpriced. Sort of like Coach bags, but whatever. Sarah and Jon, Rebecca and Mark, Daron, Sherri, Jenny, and Sofia were all there. It was a lovely night to sit out on the patio, and have a bunch of laughs with some really great friends. They even sang loudly enough to embarrass the crud out of me. Thanks for that, guys.

I guess the bottom line is this: Birthdays come and go. We get older, we get a little slower, the clothes fit a little tighter. But I've discovered that the friendships are sweeter, the laughs are deeper, and the memories are more precious. We appreciate more, we forgive easier, we love deeper. My 20's were more fun than I can ever tell you. My 30's have surpassed them, with fun to spare. Thank you to everyone, my friends and family, that have made each year better than the next!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Global Warming? ...Naaa, it's just the Barnes Family

Global warming has a devastating effect on marine life. But global warming is nothing compared to the crimes against nature that were committed at Shucker's Oyster Bar last night. The Barnes family descended on aforementioned oyster bar, and proceeded to decimate entire populations of shrimp, crabs, oysters, and calamari. (If there's a mini-corndog population out there, then the Barnes boys probably took care of that one as well...)
Daron and I had our 7th wedding anniversary yesterday, and the whole family helped us celebrate. People were surprised that we would have our entire family come eat dinner with us, but I think it's oddly appropriate. These are the people (along with MY family) that I will be spending eternity with, so I better like hanging out with them. When I married Daron, I married into the whole Barnes experience, and all the madness and calamity that comes with it. Needless to say, it's been the best (and most fun) 7 years of my whole life.

Let's get back to my favorite part: CRAB LEGS. I spend the better part of yesterday dreaming of crab legs, and waffling back and forth- should I get 1 lb? 1.5lbs? Start with two orders of .5lbs? Ask for another .5lb if I still have room? These are the important questions you MUST have ironed out ahead of time. Plus, I've got to support my boys on the Northwestern, so that they will continue to provide me many more seasons of Deadliest Catch entertainment.

If you don't think that I'm serious, this IS a photo of the Northwestern from one of my trips to Seattle. Yes, I saw it in person. And YES, it was awesome.

Ok, let's get back to the reason for this post. Our anniversary. We're not big on public displays, or general shmoopyness. But I will say this: Daron has made me laugh every single day of the last 7 years. He's my best friend, and the first one I want to tell everything to. Thanks for picking me out of a crowd of very lovely girls. As my old hairdresser "Big Rose" used to say... "you gotta take a CHANCE on love!" We sure did, and man did we hit the jackpot!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dog Ramblings

Dear Mom and Dad,

Just a quick post to let you know that I’m glad you let me come to live with you. Six years ago this summer I was born, and came to live at the Hacienda. You found me at the flea market, and Mom said I was the cutest one. I heard her say it! When Mom says that “puppy picked us,” it’s true. And Dad, I’ve heard you say that you got totally ripped off that day, but it’s not true! I was a total bargain. Think of all the love and home defense I’ve provided over the years. Yes, I know that I have my moments. I can’t help myself from eating the wild onions that grow in the backyard, and give me horrendous and uncontrollable gas. And you know that it’s my duty to bark, even though the doorbell is only on TV. Yes, I do know that I have a habit of “leaving my mark” on totally inappropriate places. (Like Dad’s garage). I only do it to teach you a lesson. The lesson that, “ I will not be ignored!” Wow, that was very Glenn Close/Fatal Attraction of me, but you know what I mean. I appreciate that mom leaves the TV on for me, so I don’t get lonely downstairs. I also know that the endless supply of cookies, and chewies, and snacks have made me obese, and that Mom loves me anyway. More belly to scratch, right? BTW, that wasn’t cool that the vet called me “Fatty McGee.” Not cool at all.

Dad, I know you care deep down. Every time you call me “Fats” or “Tubby” or “Stinkzor” that you really like me. You wouldn’t bounce that ball that practically gives me a seizure if you didn’t! Unless you ARE trying to give me a seizure… but I’m going to take the high road, and insist that both my parents love me. But most especially, mom. So thanks for all the good times…

Peace out people. These squirrels aren’t going to chase themselves.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Coldplay Concert.. (Or Wild Kingdom Part Two)

Last night Daron and I went to the Coldplay concert here in Raleigh. Let me just say that they were PHENOMENAL. I really love concerts, and really love music, and these guys are just almost at the top of my list for seeing live (RUSH and Pink Floyd have them beat, but that just goes without saying.) I LOVE LOVE LOVE Coldplay, and am silently wondering why I let myself be convinced that lawn seats would be ok. After all, when we saw them in 2005, we had lawn seats. We had a great time... That's where Daron's and my "song" became "our song." Great memories of that night. (No, I'm not telling you which song.)
So... that being said, how does this:

Become THIS:
An excellent question, and one I'm not able to answer. I suspect it involved large quantities of intoxicating substances, both imbibed and inhaled. The average demographic involved here was 21 (barely) and caucasian. I will say this though, everyone was having a ball. The crowd energy was fantastic. Everyone was dancing and singing, and just having a good time.

So yeah, while I love the crowd, it's getting a bit overwhelming. I think I'm going to spring for real seats when Coldplay comes back around again.

Because this:
...Is simply too far away!! One cool thing about the show, the band actually ventured out into the lawn seats, and played two songs! I'm sure the seat holders were cheesed, but it was cool for the rest of us. However, venturing out into the cheap seats is a sure-fire way to cause pandemonium and/or stampede. They got about a hundred feet away from our position, but we didn't dare move closer. It was just too crazy. So here what that looked like from our spot:

Pretty cool! So all in all, a great show. At the end, they were even gracious enough to give everyone a FREE CD when leaving the show. 20,000 people, and a free CD. It's 9 live songs taken from one of their previous Viva shows, and super cool. Man, I love these guys. If you haven't seen them live, GO!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wild Kingdom

Monday, 9:45PM: Sherri drops me off from an evening of important errands. TJMaxx, Ross, BedBathBeyond, etc. Got a cute apron (so domestic of me), a paper towel holder (really? I made it 36 years w/o a paper towel holder?), and this little metal thing that you wash your hands with that takes the garlic/fish/onion smells off your hands. (Pure genius!) But that’s another post. Or another blog. Maybe I need a shopping blog… But back to the story…

Monday, 10:00PM: Frantic call from Sherri.

“Daron, there is a BAT in my DINING ROOM, and you need to get over here NOWWW…” I asked her if she sang “Born Free” to it, but she didn’t think that was very funny. At all.

Monday, 10:15PM: Daron and I walk into Sherri’s living room with fishing net in hand. She’s perched on the couch, like the bat is going to nibble her toes or something, and has complete line-of-sight with the perpetrating bat in the dining room. She’s holding her defensive weapon of choice (broom),and is ready for combat. But only if assaulted.

“Daron, it only takes SEVEN minutes to get here on 540, and it took you TWELVE!! Where were you!!???” Daron shakes head. It takes inner strength to be brow-beaten by TWO bossy women in your life.

Daron and I head into the dining room, were we find the most adorable little brown bat all snuggled in for the night in Sherri’s curtains. I’m ready to take his close-up, when Daron informs me that he’s “had shots for this” and I hadn’t. Good point. I back off to a respectable distance, and begin to document the removal. Which took all of 3 minutes. A less competent Wildlife Biologist might have taken at least seven, but this man is an expert at his craft!

I always thought bats were squeakers, but this one was ANGRY. He sounded like hissing cat. I get crabby when people wake me up, and this bat was no exception. Daron expertly gets him out the front door, partially in a shoebox, where he intends to set him free to the night air. He’s intent on going, so I only had a split second to take his picture before he took flight.

The night wouldn’t have been complete without an exhaustive, but reassuring search through the attic, which thankfully and predictably produced nothing. Poor Sherri. She still didn’t sleep a wink that night…

Monday, July 27, 2009

Is that a Bald Spot?

So once in a while, life throws something at you that is farrrrrr more entertaining than anything they could make up on TV. This morning held one of those moments for me. Let me set the scene: At the office I have a sweet little old man that cleans the joint on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Because Vance is the best cleaning man on the planet, he came in Friday night to buff the floors. Just for fun. Monday morning, I walk in and find this little note on my desk:

Any thoughts on what he found? …He found someone’s orphaned weave in one of the exam rooms!!!

This entertains me on a number of levels:
  • My scream was heard around the entire office. We only had two patients checked in so far, so explanations weren’t too extensive. (I think my shock came from living in an insulated caucasian world where our hair stays on our heads (for the most part), and only our fashionable AA sisters can get away with adding and subtracting length at will. Frankly, I'm just not used to seeing it on my desk..)
  • How do you not know part of your hair has fallen out???!! I asked Lyndel, my resident authority on all things African American, and even she was grossed out. She says they really hurt to put them in, so it would stand to reason that one coming out would be traumatic as well? If you DID know it fell out, why are you gonna leave it on my floor?
  • Granted, Vance is like 93 years old, but he didn’t know what it was??? Maybe if you grow up out west, and don’t mix with a large African American community, I could see not knowing what it was right away. BUT WE LIVE IN THE SOUTH! There is an African Nubian Queens Hair Braiding on many a Raleigh corner.
  • Why leave it on MY desk? Granted, my excruciatingly honest cleaning man asks permission to take a water out of the fridge, so maybe he was afraid someone would come looking for it? Didn’t want to be the one to throw away someone’s personal effects?
  • I’ve seen some beautiful hair braiding out here, but this one was kind of nappy. Like, bought the kit at Sallys, and let your boyfriend’s friend’s sister do it kind of nappy. And before you get upset at me for being insensitive and/or flip about another race, I'm going to remind you that hair of any kind is gross, and even digging my own hair out of the drain makes me want to ralph!
  • This event was so blog-worthy, I'm putting off the Daron-Birthday-Post until I've recovered.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Second 1st Annual Barnes Family Campout

I say the second, because we tried this last year with disastrous results. A torrential downpour mixed with hurricane force winds made us all run for cover, and call it a night. Not to mention demolished tents and soggy bedding. And a wet dog. Nobody wants to camp with a wet dog.
This is what we affectionately dubbed "Tent City."

Daron showing off his mad skills on the Canjo. Yep, it's made out of a tin can. And hopefully you enjoy favorites such as "Dueling Banjoes," "When the Saints Come Marching," and my personal favorite, and oddly out of season "Silent Night." Because, these are the only songs he knows.

Side Note: No you're not crazy. There DOES seem to be a Sheetz cup hidden in every post on our blog. (See post "Gone Country")

Our campsite seemed to be very popular...
This one I like to call "posteriors for posterity." See the concerned look on Sherri's face? She knows that in no time at all a picture of her derriere will be circulating cyberspace at record speed. Just one of the many services I provide.

Are there any fish left in Grandpa's pond? The kids caught all the fish, and the adults didn't catch anything. Maybe because we were busy pulling hooks out of fish every 4.3 seconds

Chilling over a game of Uno, and a new member of the family. To Alexis' delight, Randy and Sue relented and let the boys get a dog. A sweet little beagle they call Titan. Skip wasn't sure what to think about him, but they were buddies in no time. As long as the puppy knew his place! The weather was gorgeous, and not hot at all. And just enough breeze to keep the bugs off!

All in all, a really fun time. Everyone was a good sport about sleeping in tents, even though we didn't get much sleep. Everyone thinks it's quiet in the country, but noooooooooooooo. Between the fox that kept barking at us in the middle of the night, Jeremiah the bullfrog, the pack of wild coyotes in the woods, and the 6 million tree frogs, we didn't get a wink of sleep. We broke camp around noon, and made it home just in time for a nap!