They say timing is everything. With that in mind, I had the best of intentions to get some serious project time in this week. You see, my Mountain Man works full time as a Plastics Engineering Manager. He also is a full time student persuing his Master's degree in Business Administration, (who is getting straight A's and I might add, I am just a smidge proud of him!). He is a devoted family man, not only to me and our grown children, but to our extended family as well.
Last Monday was the last day of class for him and he had a whole week off of school in which we planned to spend our evenings, getting some projects knocked off of an ever growing list of honey do's.
Monday, I hear his vehicle pull in the driveway, promptly at 5pm. Yay! It's project time!
Now, let me clarify, some of these I can and will do on my own, but each of them also involves him in some way before I can complete it; heavy lifting, hanging shelves, putting together a spice rack, the fact that he is tall, tools he claims will hurt me, etc., etc.
So he had just pulled in the driveway. That is when "IT" happened. (enter the sound of heavy organ music here for dramatic effect...) Mountain Man comes in the door, head hanging low, dragging his computer bag behind him and looking all forelorn. He dropped his bag and coat, made a beeline for the bed, stopping only to grab a box of tissues and the Vicks. Mountain Man had "cawd uh code. "
Okay, not the scenario that I had played out in my head, but I could deal with this. Maybe we will just start tomorrow when he feels better.
After calling in sick to work, this is pretty much the most of what I saw of him the rest of the day. (Yes, he loves that I take pictures of him when he is sick, why do you ask?)
The rest of the week seemed to pretty much go the same way. Go to work, come home, go to bed with Vicks and tissues. Sometimes, two boxes of tissues. And some antacids.
You may have noticed that the list shown above was titled "To do this weekend". It originally said To do This Week. I added the "end" when on Wednesday night, I conceded to the fact that Mountain Man wasn't going to be doing any honey do's this week.
So that is when I started making weekend plans. Uh huh. Right. Hear God laughing?
Friday night, Mountain Man comes home from work, says he is feeling better. Yay! Things are looking good for the weekend. Then he reminds me that he made plans with his brother for the weekend and was supposed to be going up north to see him. Then he quickly added that I was more than welcome to join them.
Let's see... Late Janurary in Michigan. Outdoors in the snow. And the cold. Small game hunting. Oh, hold me back. The fun. The excitement. He said he really wanted me to go. Wait. Scratch that. He didn't say it, he whined it. So much for my plans. Good grief.
While I packed a weekend bag (overstuffed with reading material and my laptop to help keep me sane) I overheard him on the phone with his brother saying something about meeting at the hunting spot. My ears perked up when he then said my name followed by "she would like to see if there are any thrift stores in the area, so she might go while we are hunting." Okay, so maybe things were starting to look up.
After a two hour drive and some great conversation (we always have great conversation in the car, why is that?) we arrived at the hunting grounds. Snow covered ground surrounds us. That doesn't stop Mountain Man who plows right into the snowy field. He LOVES to switch the vehicle into four wheel drive. He does it with such gusto.
After a few attempts of spinning the tires and digging in further and further, rocking, pushing, kicking the snow (yes, really!) and exhausting all of the typical Michigan winter bag of tricks, Mountain Man decides that he has to "rescue" his brother. I could see his chest beginning to swell. I could also see the thrift store shopping starting to fade into the sunset. We were gonna be here a while.
So, Mountain Man goes to get his trusty rope. I took one look at it and laughed out loud. There was no way that that wimpy looking clothes line kind of rope was going to pull a vehicle. Our golden retriever, Bella, was also concerned with the choice of rope and went to tell Mountain Man so.
I was very glad at this point that I had chosen the cell phone I had, because I was really busy taking pictures of this adventure and the batteries in my camera died. I finished with with the cell phone.
While the rope was being tied to the two vehicles, I could hear Mountain Man and his brother talking about the process about to unfold. His brother was muttering something about bragging rights about getting him out of the snow, when Mountain Man said he would be less concerned about who he was going to brag to and more concerned about where the pictures I was taking were going to end up. What? Who meeee??? I am purely an innocent by-stander. I would never...
So when the pulling commenced, I'll be danged! The darn rope did work! Mountain Man pulled his brother out of the snow, and then kept right on going, and going, and going, and then went a smidge more. Just because he could. Part of that braggin' rights thing I suppose. Men.
After their opening act was over, I decided that there was no way I was going to try to drive out of this place on my own. I wasn't gonna get stuck and need rescued, that was for darn sure. Besides, I wanted to stick around and see what other antics that may be coming up in act two. I was not disappointed. Enter the dogs.
Jess is my brother in law's "hunting" dog, a cute little beagle with big attitude. She had been standing around with Bella, taking in all the action, and decided that she had had enough of waiting in the cold and snow. The second she saw the opportunity, she jumped in our vehicle.
Well, the other one HAD been stuck. Smart dog.
While the hunters were gathering their gear, mounting up for the hunt, and building me a small fire to warm myself by while they were hunting, Jess looked at me as if to say "If they ask, you haven't seen me. I'll be in the back."So my brother in law commences to looking for his "hunting" dog. At this point I am getting a fit of the giggles like I haven't had in ages. Who knew hunting could be soooo much fun???
Now, to the everyday Joe, that may look like an innocent softball. However, those that know my dog, Bella, know that she never goes outside without it. Ever. Those that know my dog also know to never ever pick it up. They know to not make eye contact with it while in Bella's field of vision. God forbid you ever actually pick it up and throw it, for if you do, you have unknowingly just entered into a mind numbing, never-ending game of "throw the ball". Throw it again. Again. Again. Throw it again. One more. Again. Again. Throw the ball.
Get the picture? Yeah.
My brother in law knows this. He knows this! But... because his "hunting" dog was MIA, out of desperation for something to do, he does the unthinkable... he threw the ball. And so begins the next series of photos that need no explaination:
She did stop long enough to chew some snow out of her paws...
Why do dogs bite the snow? Just wonderin'.
Breathless, yet still wants to play throw the ball.
Look at those tracks in the snow. I tell you, she is relentless!
Wait! What's this?
Snow with no tracks? Throw it again!
And where was Jess, the "hunting" dog, this whole time?
In the car, hiding behind the gloved photographer.
Now, as if this series of events wasn't enough to just make my day complete (I truly enjoyed myself, the sun was shining, I was warm, and I laughed more than I had laughed in ages!), when the "hunting" was over, on the way back home, Mountain Man asked me what I would like to do next.
As we arrived at my brother in law's I went in and immediately went to my computer to start looking up addresses of thrift stores in the area. Yes! I figured if I could go "hunting" with them, they could go "hunting" with me. Fair is fair, right?
So, like the good sports that they are, they agreed. I found 8 stores and wrote down the addresses. It was getting late though, and I didn't figure we would get to all 8, but I was going to give it my best effort. We headed out with my list of addresses, choosing the closest one first. Close, but no cigar. Closed.
Undetered, we headed to the next one. Closed. Dang! Third store, closed. We kept going, though I was starting to see a pattern. It was after 5pm and it wasn't looking good.
Just when things were starting to look dismal, we happened upon Goodwill. Brightly lit, buzzing with activity, Goodwill!
In some funky kinda way, it speaks to me, but I would be without a clue as to what to do with it if it ever made it's way home with me.
I was in my element. The guys were not so sure. After a bit of muttering and sputtering, they seemed to accept this new form of hunting, and actually started to enjoy themselves.
I made Mountain Man the designated carrier of my pretties.
Then I saw my brother in law looking very closely at this beauty.
I heard laughing. I heard excited conversation. I heard joking and jesting. I heard Mountain Man say "I gotta take a leak."
And thus ended our hunting session at Goodwill. We headed for the checkout. And while Mountain Man paid for my purchases, I happened to turn and look in the bin behind me. That is where I spotted this fun piece:
I smiled as I read it, thinking I couldn't agree more! And then he carried the bags to the car for me. Love that man!
To do list, go away, I'd rather go "hunting" with Mountain Man.
Til next time!