Road Trip, the end of the saga…

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On Tuesday,  I spent a great deal of the day working at MIL’s house, we replaced the locks on her doors, repaired one door where it had been kicked in and the frame shattered.  I epoxyed windows shut that had been broken into  until the mechanism that opened them was useless. Basically, I was working on securing her house sot hat it was harder for people to break in. As MIL has a problem with her sister’s family breaking in and stealing things or just moving their criminal selves into her home.

That afternoon I worked on cleaning up the trailer and securing things for the trip home. We took SIL and her kids out to dinner that evening, in a town an hour away, to Applebee’s. We had a great time, and the kids watched a little bit of tv before going to bed that night.

On Wednesday, we hooked the trailer back to the truck, cleaned up the mess we had made and headed home. We discovered that a lot of truck stops have RV dumps on our way home so we were able to empty the almost full tanks on the trailer without hauling it all the way home. We stopped again at Andersons pea soup. and continued south.

We were about in Sacramento when I pulled off my glasses to clean them and the frames broke. I didn’t have my old pair with us, I spent the rest of the trip not able to see more than 4 feet in front of me clearly. Not something I recommend.

Hubster, in his infinite wisdom, decided that we could make it up the Grapevine (steep mountain pass just north of LA) to the Flying J truck stop with just barely enough gas to get there if it were flat ground. 3 miles from the station the truck ran out of gas.. (DUH!) we were not even to get the truck and trailer completely off the road, and the far right two lanes on the highway are reserved for semi’s. We panicked for just a moment, I admit it. We didn’t know who to call, until Hubster remembered Onstar. (yeah, I admit, I was tired it was like 9pm and I had been on the road most of the day) We hit the emergency button and they called us a tow truck, initially just for gas, and a Highway patrol officer , because we really weren’t in a safe area. Hubster and I discussed which would be safer for us and the kids, to get out of the vehicle and stand at the side of the road in 40 degree weather, where if the truck got hit it could slam into us, or to stay in the vehicle where we had airbags and seatbelts, plus, the residual heat of the day. We finally decided that the safest option was in the truck, with seatbelts on and hazards flashing.

The DPS officer arrived, he had his lights lit, and the trucks started going around us as they passed. But the officer told Hubster that there was no way he was going to let anyone stand on the traffic side of the vehicle to put gas in, we were going to have to be towed, at least off the interstate.

The tow truck arrived after a 25 minute wait. Faster than the estimate of 30 minutes, and towed us up the road to the next exit and then added the gas, we were able to make it to gas station 3 miles up the road. Argh. I chewed Hubster out about his habit of running down to the last ounce of gas hunting for something 2 cents cheaper a gallon.

We continued our trip home and actually made it in about 4:15am Thursday morning. by the time we got the kids in, and in bed, and all the things we had to get done finished, it was 5am before we were able to go to bed for a few hours.

The second leg of our trip, the part where we were going to go see my family on the other end of the state got delayed for a month or so, my grandfather caught the flu, and was very ill, he is improving but I didn’t want to risk taking the cold that my kids have to him, especially when he is so weak.

Road Trip, Day five.

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Today has been busy. And it was far better than I had anticipated… it started out not so great, but it improved. It started out slow, as, thankfully, all our vacation days have… the kids wake late, we wake late, and it is even later by the time we dress and eat and are moving around. Hubster realized at 9:25 that he was supposed to pick up his mother, who lives 30 minutes from where we are, at 10:00 and take her to the Social Security office. So he rushed off, taking our only vehicle, leaving me here with our 3 kids, thankfully, not the nieces, because school started here today. I had no clue what we were going to do all day long, because I *knew* that a visit to a Social Security office on the first Monday of the month was not going to be a quick thing. I was not a happy camper.

I got the kids all ready to go in to the house and bathe (no sewer hook up here, so we are using limited water in the trailer)  just as I get them in the house and situated, and I am about to climb into the shower my phone rings, Hubster is 15 minutes away, headed through town, and he has to stop, do we want to go into the town with the SS office with him? (it is also the town I was needing to go into to get a bit of shopping done) I jumped at it. I got my girls through the fastest showers of their lives and got them dressed and back out to the trailer, we were just getting hair done when Hubster got here. We finished getting ready and took off.

I was able to get my shopping done, my girls needed some warmer clothes, it is hard to find more than just gray solid sweatshirts where we live, it just doesn’t get cold often enough for most stores to stock them.  I walked into Kmart, which shared a parking lot with the SS office, and found sweats for my kids, with cute prints on them for $3 a piece. and a fleece jacket for my 3yo, for only $4, we got enough to last us the winter, and hopefully into next winter. When we were done in the store the kids and I sat out in the back of our Yukon, we opened the back gate and played games and waited, it wasn’t a long wait before Hubster and MIL joined us and we headed back. 

We stopped and at a local Chinese food place (only our second restaurant meal this trip!!) and took MIL home, and dealt with a little more business there, determined what work needed to be done on her place that we could do in the next day, to help her out and then came back to SIL’s.

We set the kids to cleaning up their mess once we arrived and I worked on cleaning up stuff in the trailer, I find my self doing this a couple of times a day as we are out here, 5 people in this small space, I am always picking up something. 

I discovered a short time later that one of the nieces didn’t come home after school like she was supposed to, and that caused a whole new drama. Her mother knew where she was, but it wasn’t where she was supposed to be. I was very careful not to tell SIL how I would handle it or how I thought she should handle it but I did tell her that if it were MY 15 year old who pulled this, there is no way that she would be getting her drivers license any time soon.

Our plan for tomorrow is pretty simple, pick up the stuff that we determined we could do to help  out MIL, and deal with it. I plan on sealing some windows, filling a couple of cracks in walls, changing locks. Nothing really complicated but some things that will really help her.

Road Trip, Day Four.

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We are enjoying the opportunity to sleep late and not get moving until we are well rested.  I turn down the heater in the trailer while we sleep, I drop thermostat as far it will go. My oldest daughter has instructions that when she gets up she can set the thermostat to a specific temperature, and it will start warming up. This is especially handy for me, since she tends to get up much earlier.

Anyway, we got up, and, again, I fed the kids, this morning they ate much better than yesterday, a full meal, not just the grazing bit they ate yesterday. And then I told them they could go in the house, well, there were only kids and teenagers in the house, mostly asleep, as everyone else had left. BIL (Brother in Law) and his family  had gone home (they live an hour or two from SIL (Sister in Law), not sure where exactly) and SIL had taken MIL (Mother in Law) home, she lives about 30 minutes away but had spent the last two days here.

So a bit later, I go out to fill the water tank on the trailer (as all we had  was what remained of the 1/3 tank I had put in before we left home to run the toilet.) Anyway, just as I was coiling up and draining my hose (it is cold here, I really don’t want my good hose to freeze and break because I left water in it)  SIL comes out of the house and gets in the car, Hubster hands me his coffee cup and tells me he is going with his sister, not that he had any clue where she is going, or when they will be back, but he is going.

I go inside the house, where my kids are, to see what is going on, there are 5 kids 10 and under, and a 15 year old, they are all doing well, not tearing the place down, and the 15 year old is watching the younger ones. I made sure there was no catastrophe, and I left. I was not going to stay in a room with 6 kids, 2 of which I cannot stand. Especially for an undermined amount of time.

About an hour or so after they left, Hubster and SIL return, Hubster comes out and tells me he has a money order from his sister, and he is going to make a payment on her electric bill, because they are about to be shut off… Well.. Initially I might feel sympathy for the situation, except that so far I have seen 3 of the newest model Ipod Shuffle, and a Wii that she has gotten her kids for Christmas.  On top of the fact that this type of thing is typical, she can barely make the bills, but the kids all have cell phones and all have whatever the newest gadget is. To me…that is not just poor money management, it is irresponsible, but hey, that’s just my opinion.

So a few hours later Hubster hands me the money order and tells me I need to go cash it, and where to go, a local grocery store. When I ask him if he wants me to get anything, he just says “Ice cream.” So off I go with my shadow (my younger daughter had lost her glasses, took hours to find them, in the mud outside, her punishment was to be my shadow, sit next to me, go where I go, and no playing, for 2 hrs. This is not her first episode of losing glasses, she has worn them for sometime, and has to learn the responsibility for them some time, all my in-laws kept telling me I was to rough on her over this. Yeah, I am so going to take parenting advice from a professional bum and a woman who 2 out of 3 kids are so bratty and snotty I will not put up with them.) I realize once we get there that it is after 3 and they have nothing planned for dinner, so I call and find out what they want and get the ingredients, because, after 12 years I know what will happen, they will start thinking dinner at 5, then decide they have to shop first, and we won’t eat till 10.

While at the “grocery store” (I have never seen a grocery store with 5 aisles of alcohol) I found Hiram Walker brand Amaretto, I can never find this in Arizona. It‘s not expensive, just hard to find, so I bought it. I will take it home and enjoy at my leisure..

I got all the stuff for dinner and once I returned, started cooking. While I was cooking Hubster and his sister were discussing their childhood (why it must be relived every time they get together, I have no clue, but apparently, it is a must.) Most of the conversation wasn’t fit for children’s ears so they ran the kids off to play in another room twice, and then they went outside, leaving me alone in the house cooking, with said children. When SIL’s youngest daughter decided to try to follow them outside Hubster opened the door and told her to stop, when I realized what she had done, I chewed her out, I didn’t yell, I didn’t cuss (massive amount of restraint for me there, this child annoys the shit out of me) I told her that they were discussing something her mother didn’t want her to hear, they had told her to go away twice, and since she wouldn’t go, they went where she couldn’t here and she was NOT going to follow them there. And then I went back to my cooking. I noticed a few minutes later that she had disappeared, and realized that she was hiding from me.

I was just finishing dinner about the time that Hubster and SIL came inside the house, and Hubster was dishing out the spaghetti and I was passing plates out to kids when the girl appears, curls herself into her mother and start sobbing, not just crying *sobbing*. When SIL asked her what was wrong, I told her, she was upset because I chewed her out for trying to follow them outside when they had left so that the kids couldn’t hear them. SIL comforted her and babied her until she calmed down. THIS is why this child is such a brat and I refuse to put up with her. Now, lest you think I am being unreasonable, this is not a 3 or 4 year old, this girl is 9, she is old enough to go away, to know what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Apparently, SIL and I have two totally different level of acceptable.

School starts back up here tomorrow, and SIL has to work, not sure what we are going to spend the next two days doing, but Hubster has decided that we are to stay here until Wednesday. Oh, Joy. Oh Bliss.

Pass the shot glass any time now.

Road Trip, Day 3, at the in-laws

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We wake up in the morning, feed our kids before going inside, despite the cold in the trailer, make it into the house at about 10am, local time, at which time, they are just starting to dig out food and eat, my kids have to eat again, of course.

They sit around and chit chat, visiting for a couple hours before I start to push about getting the trailer moved and set up. At which time Hubster decides that he doesn’t want to have to travel an hour each day from the RV park, he wants to set it up at his sister’s where there is no sewer hook up, so that it is right there…. Now, let me say, it has been raining for I don’t know how long , it is muddy, and he wants to set up in the mud. ARGH.

It was a pain in the ass… a royal pain in the ass, but we did get it done. He stretched an electrical cord so that we have power, and I turned on the gas and got the heat and stuff running. I will fully admit there are some major pluses to having it set up here. But there are minuses too.

Pluses ~

  1. It is right out side, when the kids or crazy in-laws get on my nerves, I can escape for a while.
  2. I can put the kids to bed when they need to go to bed, and not have to convince him that we have to go first.
  3. I can slip out, heat up my water, make myself some tea and spike it, without them (including Hubster) knowing that I need alcohol to put up with them.
  4. I have food to feed my picky 3yo when he refuses to eat what is served.

Minuses~

  1. the kids wanted to hide in  it while playing hide and seek.
  2. no sewer hook up, so showers and such have to be carefully monitored.

I set up SIL’s wireless router yesterday, so I have internet access while we are here, it makes it so much nicer too… I can hide in the trailer and still be able to do stupid shit like post here..

Road Trip Day two,

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We wake and get back on the road, with strict orders from Hubster not to feed the kids, as will soon arrive at Anderson’s Split Pea soup, and he wants to ensure that they are hungry. 

Four hours later we arrive. We go in, order our meals, and eat, I will say this, the ‘regular’ food at this place has dramatically improved. Always before they food, other than the soup, which my husband and kids swear is divine, and I swear is nasty, was merely so-so, this time it was actually good, not outstanding but not something I minded having to eat either.

Anyway, we eat, we get back on the road, and we drive and drive and drive some more, we finally arrive at Hubster’s sister’s home at about 6pm, she is not home, she is 1/2 an hour away (despite having 3 hrs notice that we were on our way and our approx. arrival time) so Hubster starts unloading the recycling we had brought up with us (where we live only offers about $.50 a lb for aluminum and nothing for glass, SIL can turn it in for $.05 an item here, dramatic difference) we get the kids out, they run around like wild banshees while the adults visit. At 10pm I finally take my kids out and put them to bed in the trailer, I soon follow them, riding while Hubster drives exhausts me… I keep having to force myself to relax and not look at the road.

our holiday

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was spent at the inlaws house… sitting around doing nothing… while sister inlaw and her boyfriend went about their daily lives.. running errands, etc. at one point, leaving us alone with all their kids. let see… a 13 year old who thinks the world revolves around her, a really pretty sweet 9 year old and a 7 year old who is just spoiled rotten, and I do mean rotten!

Egg dying was done by the 13 year old, who wouldn’t let the other kids help…. then we hid 10 dozen plastic eggs. and the younger 5 went to find them. my 2 year old caught on quickly and had a blast, even if my 7 year old niece would steal the baby’s eggs.  All the kids did pretty well. We did cereal for breakfast… then the kids played and ran wild. we turned the dyed eggs into deviled eggs. and about 5 we had tri-tip for dinner, really great food. All three of my kids ate well, 7 year old niece didn’t touch hers, swore she wasn’t hungry, of course not, she had been steeling everyones candy all day long. (I had put my kids candy away long before this, plus, my children know to ask before they eat all the sugar in sight) we finially got out of there about 9:30 and in the hotel room with all three kids asleep by 10:30.

At least now all the in-law related parts of this trip are over, and now on to the vacation parts. My husband is planning on hitting parks and stuff on our way down the coast. He says down Hwy 1, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco (all I hear every time he says that is SEAFOOD!!)  catching motels along the way. How many more hours in the car?

We have arrived….

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and one brother wont’ be showing up, we knew this, his wife is heavily pregnant and can’t travel. Another brother, who didn’t make last year, won’t be here either, apparently he can’t make the 1.5 hr drive to see his brother who just made a 12 hr drive to be here for the holiday.

We are scheduled to go to the sister’s tonight for dinner. No clue what else is planned or going on, getting information out of my husband is like pulling teeth from a rabid bear. I have given up and when he starts bitching later about me not planning for something, I will remind him that he couldn’t be bothered to tell me what the plans were, so how in the hell could I prepare for them?

At least we are in a hotel room and not having to stay with anyone, so end of the day, and before things get moving… plus the baby’s nap time, I can come back to the hotel room and hide from the insanity that surrounds my husband’s family.

At least next year is scheduled to be at our place and they can show or not and I can’t be blamed for it. And… if they make me too nuts, I can retreat to my bedroom and hide.

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