How to Build a Halloween Mausoleum!

So it may have been years in the making, but we finally did it… We finished our mausoleum for our yard!

We planned on this being a multi-part project and thought we’d just “slap it together” and just live with it this year, but we were both really pleased with how it came out, we don’t think it needs a whole lot more. Maybe we’ll add some architectural details/interest, and I thought about moss and more aging.

Here’s the run-down of how we did it!

We started the process by using this drawing as a a loose reference for the general shape of our mausoleum.

Travis did a ton of research online about how to actually go about building it and scoped out some other folks’ projects to get an overall generalization of what materials to use.

Then he took a trip to Team Blue (Lowe’s) and bought ten 2×2’s and four sheets of plywood. The guys at the store did some of the rough cutting for him, but since we were really just wingin’ it, most of the cutting got done at home.

This is Travis’ quick explanation of how he built it:

  1. I figured out the size that I wanted it to be – each wall is 4ft long and 5ft tall
  2. Cut the plywood into the correct sizes (measure twice, cut once!)
  3. Cut the 2x2s to the right length in order to make the frame
  4. I made 3 walls, then screwed them together
  5. Then I made two 1ft long by 5ft tall pieces to create the two front walls, which gave me the 2ft wide doorway
  6. For the roof, I used two 4ft by 3ft pieces and framed those as well to create the peak

Once the whole thing was built, we put on 2 coats of exterior paint.

Weather-proofing coats on, we'll start

For the arch over the doorway, we re-purposed our homemade “whacky boat” we made this summer for our family’s lake house regatta. (Thats that huge pink surf board looking thing behind Travis, above.) Which are in fact pieces of foam insulation board. The same goes for the “belt” piece around the middle. That part will eventually be painted to look like stones. The little ledges to the left and right of the doorway are made of scrap 2x2s.

To cover up the lines and darken up the inside to make our white ghost stand out, Travis used some horrible red paint that The Others left behind when they moved. It was actually the color of our 6 ft by 4ft bathroom when we moved in. Sexy.

I then mixed up a small batch of grey paint; I used white paint exterior with a tiny bit of black paint, then I thinned it out with several cups of water to make it about the consistency of thick watercolor paint. (I’d say the final mix was probably 2 cups of paint to 5 cups water, but that’s a rough estimate. I lost count, I just added water until I got the consistency I wanted.)

We used a cut up tshirt to color-wash the exterior. We used several different “techniques” like wiping and dabbing to create a cement-ish texture. I’ve heard of people using grocery bags to achieve a similar look, but I thought that would take too long. The tshirt really soaked up a lot of paint and kept me from having to reload it over and over.

Once the whole thing looked like concrete, I went it with varying shades of black and grey paint and dry-brushed in the aging, to make the whole thing look like concrete or stone does after it’s aged for decades. To dry brush, you literally use a dry paint brush to apply the color in very thin layers.

I started out with black along the edges and where I wanted serious aging “shadowing” and then went back in with some of the color-wash and applied that on top and just blended it in towards the center of each panel. Travis helped me with the bottom, once he got the hang of it, he really did a great job and he considers himself to be “very not artistic.”


I used a small paintbrush to add in cracks and paint in the spots above the ledges to make them look recessed into the stone. We’ll eventually add some sort of candle or torch there. We mounted a skull above the door that we had from another Halloween decoration that we didn’t use. You could put just about anything there… we thought the skull was pretty cool!

THEN came the fun part. We had to get this puppy through our 3 ft wide gate! Finished, it is 4ft wide by 7ft tall. We ended up having to remove the roof and carry it through in two parts, that was easier than we anticipated.

Once we had it set up where we wanted it in the yard, we hung our Lady in White inside. We have read all sorts of blogs that have animatronics that people have custom-built themselves and they look really great… But we priced out the parts needed to make her from scratch and we decided that buying this one from Spirit was far cheaper and worth it for us. Her arms move up and down! Maybe someday we’ll custom-make something to go in there, but this lovely lady seems to be working out super.

We initially wanted to do a name placard over the doorway, but we couldn’t agree on a name to give her. We Googled all sorts of famous ghost stories of ladies in white and couldn’t come to an agreement on one we thought was fitting. So we’ll come up with our own… But it’s gotta be good, and these things take time.

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And what mausoleum is complete without the perfect ambient lighting?! So we purchased these Fire & Ice LED spotlights. One in green and one in blue. They each have motors on the inside that spin the internal light source through the diamond-cut dome, which makes the lights sort of shimmer. The best way to describe it is when light reflects off of water onto a surface.

The green one shines onto the front of the mausoleum, and we mounted the blue one on the interior, pointed downward onto the Lady. It gives it a sort of spectral, misty look. It looks almost like a really bright black light on her white dress.

And this is what the finished product looks like… Drumroll please….



And it blends in nicely with the rest of the graveyard, which is not quite done yet. We have a lot of items still to be put out. Plus on Trick or Treat night, we put in fog machines. But it is also lit up in blue and green to give it that sort of swampy-bayou feel!


All in all, we spent about $60 to build the mausoleum. Which doesn’t factor in that we had a coupon and two leftover gift cards from a return we made previously!

  • Plywood
  • 2x2s
  • 2 inch screws
  • 1 quart of white paint
  • 1 quart of black paint
  • 1 gallon of fence paint (already had)
  • 1 sheet of foam insulation (already had)
  • 1 gallon red paint (already had)

Then we bought the other items at Spirit, but also had a 30% off coupon for those, so we spent well under $100 on:

  • Ghost lady
  • Green Spotlight (already on sale!)
  • Blue Spotlight (already on sale!)

It took Travis probably 2 hours to build it. The painting took probably 3 hours over the course of 3 evenings after work. This is something that could easily be done in much less time, but we kind of took our sweet time.

It’s been up for about a week now and so far so good! We’ve even had some rain and everything seems to be holding up really well. The fact that we used fence paint meant for some hard-core elements is probably it’s saving grace. We made sure to get the paint on really thick and into all the nooks and crannies that will be exposed. After this season, it probably wouldn’t be too crazy of an idea to put some sort of sealant on it and even get into the interior and paint every inch of it. Considering the inside  is just latex interior paint, it probably wouldn’t hold up long-term without a sealant. But for the couple weeks it will be in the yard this year, hopefully it will hold up nicely.

Well there you have it! Happy Halloweening!

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble!

Happy October! My favorite month of the year!

We have several projects in the works at the house right now, all in varying stages of completion. But the good news is we finally got the driveway sealed before the winter sets in and destroys it more than it already is! And to make a good story even better, while the driveway cures, we have to park across the street and piss off the guy across the street! DOUBLE WIN!

That may make us sound like nightmare-neighbors, but really, we tried.

This summer, the final nail in the coffin was when the jerk screamed at Travis in the middle of the street for 45 minutes in broad daylight about parking in “his spots” because he’d “lived there for 40 years and he’d earned the right to park wherever he wanted.” And we were “punk ass kids with no respect.”


I didn’t mean to start off on a rant. I apologize… On with the show!

In the spirit of getting ready for the Halloween party, we’re trying to complete a few projects! Admittedly, I have been working on my Bruno scarecrow for a couple years now. I didn’t touch him at all last year due to our neglect of the entire holiday, but this year I really need to light a fire under my ass and finish him up.

I finally have all of the supplies together. His head is nearly done, and I will actually be making a sort of half-breed of Bruno and the Grumble. Both of which are from an amazing Halloween tutorial blog called Spooky Blue that Travis and I read. I have probably read every single post three or four times. I love this guy! His commentary is priceless:

“A scarecrow, hands on hips like he’s waiting for a bus to take him to Olive Garden where he serves nights while he works on his interior design degree at the community college isn’t scary.”

Also… to go in the graveyard in the front of the house, we’ve been working on building a mausoleum! We’ve wanted to build one since we’ve moved into our house and discovered we get a ton of trick or treaters, but we never had the tools to do so. So we’re about 75% done with that… here’s some in-progress photos!

Moby is inspecting Travis' work

Moby is inspecting Travis’ work

Weather-proofing coats on, we'll start

Weather-proofing coats are on, we’ll start “antiquing” it next to make it look aged.

It’s obviously far from done, but we have a little bit of time left before it has to grace the front yard for our party and for Trick or Treat. I won’t divulge all the details yet, but our little mausoleum will host it’s own ghost. We’ve been trying to come up with a name for our lady-ghost… It is hard work! She may remain nameless until she is placed in her home.

This will be a multi-stage project. We ran out of time to do much more than paint it this year, so we’ll get it to a state where it is just “good enough,” and then we’ll add more detail to it next year.

The year before last, we made The Reaper. He was super easy, just a bolt of burlap that we dyed black in our bathtub. Lord, that was a mess! The tutorial calls for mudding him in the end to make him rigid, but we needed to keep him collapsible so we could fold him up and put him away at the end of the season. So we followed the basic idea of the instructions, but really ended up making him our own.


Here is ours – Admittedly not the best photo, it was taken by a party guest. Plus we had been having trouble with his head collapsing, since it’s just a chicken-wire shape to hold up his heavy burlap hood.


And I did make this wreath last year. I bought several spools of 6 inch wide tulle ribbon, a foam wreath form, some plastic flowers and that adorbs little raven nested in there. I used a large piece of cardboard (about 16 inches square or so) and wrapped the tulle around it over and over again until I had used all of the spool. Then I cut the tulle at the top and at the bottom of the cardboard to make several strips in two quick snips. Then the hardest and most time consuming part from there was wrapping and tying the tulle around the wreath form to create the “ruffled” effect. You really have to cram them in there to make them look full and ruffly. I may make a better tutorial for this later.

On another non-halloween related note: I forgot to mention before, in September we bid farewell to our camper, Hell on Wheels. It was a bittersweet farewell, but I’m glad to have a driveway again. We will have a camper someday when we have the ability to travel more; Once Travis’ new company is sturdy enough to be mobile. When we were getting started, we picked gear that we could travel with so he can visit customers and go to conventions etc. We bought a laptop computer and a completely portable phone line.

We got one of these little gizmos that works on cellular signal, but you can connect a desk phone to it. As long as it has power, and a signal, you have a working phone! It runs for 3 hour in-use or 2.5 days on standby with the built-in battery. For $99 up front, then $20 a month with no contracts, it was a pretty sweet deal!

And in November, we’ll get to take his little operation on the road for the first time! Travis was invited to go to a conference hosted by the company that he works with. This will be our first major road trip of 2015!

We’ll be driving to Jacksonville, Florida for the conference, but on our way there we’ll be stopping at a place that I’ve been DYING to visit for as long as I can remember… NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE!

I’m serious, I’m in near shock at the excitement!! But before you go rolling your eyes at the thought of me Boot-Scoot-n-Boogie’in it up ’til the break of dawn in new pair of Tony Lamas

A queen on her throne! That’s my girl, Miranda!

Nashville isn’t just the place for country and bluegrass music anymore. Amazing musicians like Jack White and the Black Keys call Nashville their home too! We’re talking about the city where Elvis, Johnny Cash and Neil Young all recorded albums. And the home of Jack White’s Third Man Records’ Blue Room! Which is the only venue in the world to record live shows direct-to-acetate, producing a vinyl master in real time!

We enter code-red panic mode for party prep around the week of our birthdays (next week!) and we won’t sleep much from now until the day after the party on the 24th. After that we’ll be getting ready for our trip the beginning of November.

THEN comes the holidays, and we all know that Thanksgiving through the first week of January are usually a black-top blur with the holidays in full tilt! The thought of Christmas right now makes me throw up in my mouth a little. So let’s slow down and take this one day at a time!

P.S. THIS IS MY 50th POST ON MY BLOG! It’s only taken 2+ years, but we did it! Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Have a Nice Fall!

Happy first day of Fall!

It’s been months since I have tended to my sweet little blog-baby. Sadly, I’m turning into a horrible mother! No excuses… I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had much chance to sit down for any extended period of time and write a post. Womp-womp! I haven’t even had any vacation time in over a year! I’m dyin’!

Things have been on fire lately at the house. Travis quit his job and started his own company! You know… no biggie. Ha! And with all of that new business stuff, there were some legal issues and other unpleasantries. It has been very, very, very stressful. And it came at a time where we have a lot of other issues on our plate. While it would be very easy to become defeated and believe the whole world is against us, we know the best thing we can do is shake shit off and prove the nay-sayers wrong by succeeding. And that’s what we’re doing. BAM!

With the business being out of our house, Trav needed an office space to put his 3 monitors and 8 THOUSAND Post-It notes. I’m not kidding, we are single handedly keeping the Post-It company in business! And if you’re not already aware, space is at a major premium in our house since we lack a garage or an attic and our crawl space in our basement is stuffed to the gills… with Kevin Bacon references.

Our master bedroom also lacks a closet, so a few years ago, I turned our smallest spare bedroom into a “walk-in closet.” But now it’s doubling as Travis’ office. It’s only a temporary solution, but it’s actually pretty cozy!

And now it’s the last week of September and fall is beginning to reveal herself in small peeks here and there. I LOVE fall! And I especially love October! I LOVE the changing of leaves and bonfires, hot cider, caramel apples, pumpkin pie and hoodies. I love the chilly mornings and evenings! I LOVE decorating for Halloween and going to haunted houses (the attractions, not ghost-haunted houses! I even have a short list of some of the haunted houses we’ve visited and reviewed here!) and passing out candy for Trick-or-Treat!

We’ve also decided that this year we’re bringing back our infamous Halloween party! We’ve had one every year since we moved into our house, but took a short hiatus last year to recover from a particularly terrible party in ’13. This year our Halloween spirit is fully recharged and we’re back at it. And we actually started decorating on Labor Day weekend.

It’s a pretty big deal for us. We have a lot of decorations (our entire front yard becomes a full-scale grave yard), I make food, I spend weeks making the perfect party music playlist, we get beer and have a bonfire. In 2013, we even had our first “drive-in movie!” We used our projector to show classic horror movies on a homemade movie screen that we constructed out of PVC pipe.

We spend countless hours and probably way more money than we should to put on this party every year. We’ve spent years buying and building decorations and we break our asses for weeks beforehand to get ready. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. To say the least, it’s a big deal to us!

The front of our house all decked out for Halloween!

The front of our house all decked out for Halloween!

So when our guests started doing stupid shit like drunkenly peeing all over everything, splattering whipped cream on the ceiling, accosting the female guests and their I-still-live-in-my-mom’s-basement asses used our house as their personal mating grounds… we had to step back and re-evaluate some relationships and rethink things a little bit. Am I bitter about it? Absolutely.

Travis and I usually spend the entire next day on the couch in recovery watching horror movies on TV! This year I took off the whole week after. It will be my first vacation since our honeymoon/anniversary trip last year in September! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! I am in dire need of a few days of rest and recuperation!

But back to the house topic: We’re getting some seemingly small but BIG things checked off our to-do list! We FINALLY got the electric fixed in the kitchen and the back porch. We had two mini track-light fixtures with 3 lights a piece on them. The year we moved in, one whole fixture went out. (It was the electrical box, not just the fixture.) Over the years, each of the lights on the other track went out one by one. Then a few weeks ago, we were left with one SINGLE tiny light. Making dinner and cleaning up each night like what I imagine Colonial times were like… without having to crap in the woods. It was making me crazier than I already am!

Seemingly, everything in this house has broken. This is not a plea for sympathy… It’s a part of home-ownership that we anticipated!

Not to mention a string of surgeries and 2 cars totally crapping out on us. So we anticipated the electric being another pricey item that we’d have to live lean for a while to pay for. But we bit the bullet, the electrician came and spent about an hour and half, replaced a light switch and re-connected some electrical lines that were mysteriously disconnected from the breaker box, and voila – Lights! And we only spent about $150! That’s a fantastic day in my book!

We also bought a couple new light fixtures that would make the kitchen brighter, and one to replace the “boob light” on the low ceiling of our stairwell that has a metal “nipple” that pokes out and frequently stabs Travis in the head on his way down the stairs. No one wants to be stabbed in the head by a metal nipple… At least I don’t think they do…

We also replaced the bamboo blinds in the newly renovated spare bedroom. They sounded like shrieking eels when you opened and closed them…

And a few weeks ago, the cat, who loves to bat the pull-strings around, somehow broke them. So we went and got some new ones (the same style as the old ones, just new and no shrieking eel sounds). Have you ever seen how they cut these things!? It’s amazing! They slap ’em up on the saw table right there in the window shade aisle still in the box and cut them to size! Freaking awesome! It’s free and only took 5 minutes! I love technology!

Next paycheck, we’re finally getting a new screen door. One that doesn’t sound like a sonic boom every time someone lets it slam shut. We priced them out and discovered the installation cost at about $100, is worth the hassle to us and will finally fix our wonky ass door frame. Something that we have zero interest or knowledge in doing. I know it has to be flush and plumb  or something in order for your door to work right. I don’t know what flush and plumb means… Sounds like a toilet reference to me.

After that, we have to reseal the driveway and touch up some spots on our foundation with fresh paint before winter and we’ll be all set for mother nature to wreak her havoc on us. But hopefully with it being an El Niño year, we won’t have the -117 degree winter again. Here’s hoping!

Happy House Anniversary!

Happy July 1st! And Happy House Anniversary to us! 8 momentous years ago, we took possession of Casa De Awesomesauce. We were 23 years old!

It’s also by far, the longest my husband has lived in the same place! Ha! My small-town ways have rubbed off on his gypsy soul! Plus, moving sucks real bad!


We went to a concert that evening and afterwards were supposed to stay the first night in our first home, but when we stopped at the house, the previous occupants were still moving stuff! The place was mostly empty, but every light in the house was on… jerks.

We waited three more days for them to get out. It was the longest wait of our lives! Even after we moved in, they spent two more weeks coming back and forth to get their shit out of our yard and shed. Trampolines, pool, play houses… we probably should have made a stink about it, but that wasn’t going to accomplish anything.

On another note, I have some sad news, folks…

After doing some serious inspecting of the Hell on Wheels camper, we realized the damage is far more extensive than originally anticipated. There is more water damage than we can afford to fix. We’d normally just say whatever and haul it out to our favorite boondocking spot as-is, until it completely falls apart since we don’t really dig campground camping, but we no longer have access to that property where our spot is. :( So since it would be really silly to put money into something we’ll never get a return out of, we’re throwing in the towel.

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We hate to be quitters, but this project just doesn’t make any sense for us anymore. After the nightmare that the boat became, (read about that here and here!) we just don’t want this camper to be a repeat of that. We found a charity that will come and haul it away for free, let us write it off for taxes like you would when donating items to a thrift store, and give they’ll give us a voucher for 2 free nights at a bunch of cool destinations across the US. So we’ve decided to do that and focus our time and energy on the house instead. Because you know what? We’re taking the first steps towards moving.

We’re not sure exactly where to, yet but we know we’re over the ‘burbs. Even though we still love our Columbus with the fire of a thousand suns! We love the convenience of it and the fact that we can find something to do virtually 24 hours a day. We love the culture and that it is a community of acceptance and understanding for everyone.

But I also miss the peace of living in the country, it fits too.

So in the meantime, we’re going to start slowly polishing up the house. For instance, we haven’t had electricity in over half of our kitchen since the year we moved in… 8 years ago. Things like that are probably important to future potential home buyers! So we’ll be begrudgingly hiring an electrician to come out and take a look at it since it’s not one of the things we feel comfortable tackling… Because we’d probably kill ourselves.

So to get that whole laundry list of things rolling, over the last month we got started with our spare bedroom. Yeah, kind of a weird place to start, but it was the place that really needed the most help. It had hideous, dirty, stained,  mauve carpet, green paint on the walls (that we slapped up in an hour to cover the vomitous pink paint and ballerina border leftover from the previous occupants) plus we had somehow managed to smear it all over the ceiling. It was one of our first paint jobs, give us a break!

This might be your cup of tea, but pink carpet with pink walls with pink ballerinas wasn’t really our thing! And like I said before it was suuuuper stained. Kids + dogs + carpet = Gross.

I could just slap myself for not getting more “before” photos. But we snapped ONE while things were in progress, where the two greens met (the bottom green was theirs, our darker green that covered the pink was on top) there was a piece of foam chair rail with little cutesy daisies on it. It was cute from afar, but upon close inspection, it was very juvenile looking. Plus we were over it. So it got ripped down.

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We initially planned on painting the subfloor while we waited for the cash to put in new flooring. Sounds scary, but some folks have really done some awesome things with their subfloors!

Like this! This looks awesome! It’s not a long-term plan, but looks way better than kid and dog stained pink carpet!

But then we ripped up the carpet and found laminate parquet flooring underneath! Initially I was thrilled, so now I could just paint the floor a sweet putty color and call it done! But upon taking a good look at the floor we realized how bad of shape it really was in. There were tiles that were cracked and broken. It was just a mess.

Then I remembered we had just bought all that bomb-ass peel & stick vinyl planking for the camper! Bingo!

Before we got started, we used a 5 gallon bucket with 1/2 cup Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface concentrated cleaning solution to scrub the floors. Vinegar would work too, but I love Mrs. Meyer’s!

Soap Box Alert: I freaking love all of Mrs. Meyer’s earth-friendly products and they are now what I use exclusively in my house. Laundry soap, dish detergent, dish soap, everything. They work amazing and smell wonderful. Basil and Lavender are my faves! Grab some at the grocery store next time or order yourself a gift bucket online. This stuff is amazing! I know it’s a little granola-crunching, but I really do care about what our home dumps back into the world. With all of the water problems we’ve been experiencing in Ohio over the last few years, it makes me feel better knowing I’m doing my best not to contribute to that.

Then we just spent an hour or two a night after work peeling and sticking those puppies down! I was really concerned at first about the peel & stick quality. We had used peel & stick once before in a family member’s bathroom and it ended up having to be redone later. This wasn’t really something we were interested in doing. But after we read a lot of reviews about it, we decided this brand had some serious sticky stuff and took a chance! So far, 3 weeks later we’re still really happy. There are a few spots that sort of lift a little bit, but we’re chalking that up to the crappy floor underneath. And if it continues to be an issue, we’ll just grab some sort of adhesive like Liquid Nails and re-peel and stick those suckers back down.


It was a lot of work, but it was easy work. They scored very easily with a knife and then could be snapped by hand to the sizes that we needed. By the time it was all said and done, we were definitely sore for a few days, but we were SUPER happy with the results!

Then after the floor was installed, it took a few more days of rolling around on the floor to measure, cut, paint and install quarter-round throughout the room. My mom had gave us her old air compressor with a brad gun. This was the first time we’d used the gun, and it was a LIFE SAVER. We had the quarter-round nailed down in about 10 minutes!


Here’s the semi-finished product! We still need a headboard and have since got a chest of drawers which we put on the wall at the foot of the bed, but it was a nice starting place and hopefully some fuel to finish up some of the other rooms in the house!

Mainly the master bedroom. Which we’ve been saying we were going to tackle for 8 years now. Blargh!

Well, Happy JULY and to Happy early birthday, ‘Merica! And until next time, stay classy!

You dropped a bomb on me, baby!

Last Friday after a short week that felt like a long week, Travis and I decided to take a ride on the bikes for the first time after I pulled some muscles in my back three weeks ago. I was given anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers to help get me back on the horse a little faster. After two weeks, I felt a lot better and stopped taking them. Mainly because you can’t booze it up while taking them, and well, I wanted to drink.

Ok, so I fully admit, operating a motorcycle still scares the shit out of me. Not like “OMG! I’m going to shit my pants every time I get on this thing“… But I get a healthy, respectful “I fully acknowledge that this thing can kill me if I’m not careful” bout of nerves every time I fire her up. I usually say a prayer as we pull out of our driveway and will my gremlin bell to do its job, and by the time we leave the city limits on our usual route I’m a little more relaxed and all is well and I don’t feel like a total noob.

Well, Friday wasn’t such a good day… It was pretty hot, like 90, so I forwent the usual 5-10 minute warmup sesh m’lady normally gets while I take forever putting on my helmet and synching the intercoms, etc. As we were leaving the driveway, I pushed in the choke because I figured she had warmed up and on the last ride, I accidentally left the choke out for close to 20 miles. Woopsie!

Travis always leads and I follow. He stopped at the yield sign at the end of our street and smoothly sped off up the road. I stopped at the yield sign and attempted to make the left turn. The engine was still cold, I didn’t give it enough gas in the turn, so the bike lurched forward then died. I put my feet down to stop but only made contact with my left foot as the bike was tilting past the point where it’s easy to hold it up. At this point the bike was at a complete stop, thank God, but I was wearing a tank-top and no gloves, so I knew if I went down with it I was going to skin the shit out of my hands and arms on the asphalt. So I kind of hopped up and off to the left side of the bike, still holding the right handlebar and let her go down.

It was more of a slowly, gently, lowering her to the ground. But this is the exact thing I hoped and swore I’d never do. I tried to stop it. But she is a 500 pound monster with a mind of her own. And that bitch is heavy.

She was on the ground for maybe two seconds. I grabbed the right handlebar and deadlifted her back up again.

Our neighbor was on his porch watching and couldn’t even get to his feet in the amount of time she was down and back up again. Travis had gotten to the next street by the time I told him in my helmet “I just dropped my bike.” I already had her back up and was pushing her out of the intersection by the time he turned around and could get back.

He asked if I was ok. I was. I was just really, really pissed. And ashamed… and embarrassed. And a little sick feeling. I hadn’t seen the damage yet.

By this point, the Trashy McTrashertons that live at the end of the street had brought out lawn chairs to set up in their driveway to watch the spectacle.

We stood on the corner while I explained what happened. We looked the bike over for damage, I expected to see the pipes and tank scraped up. I somehow managed to have only scuffed the end of my clutch and a little knick on the metal cover of my mirror. Thank you, lord! Really. But I broke my gremlin bell. :(

Travis asked if I still wanted to ride. I really didn’t, but I knew if I let this spook me I probably wouldn’t ever get back on again, so I gritted my teeth and got back on and fired her up. Travis made the turn, I started the turn and she lurched and died again. Blarrgh! The third time was the charm. But I had to convince myself not to puke in my helmet for the first 20 minutes of the ride.

I’m still a little nervous in turns, I always have been paranoid of skidding in gravel or popping a wheelie or one of the other thousand terrible things, but I suppose I’m going to have to stop thinking about it. After watching Travis TRY to pop a wheelie in the yard on the dirt bike and only managing to get the front tire off the ground about two inches makes me feel a little better.

So that my friends, is the reason why I have been shuffling around like Ozzy Osbourne for the past few days!

ozzyYou live and you learn.

Slothin’ it up

I apologize. Posts haven’t been coming on any sort of schedule or even semi-regularly. I do love blogging and I am trying to keep up with it. I used to be able to complete a post by doing a couple of paragraphs a day here and there when I had spare time or when I ate lunch at my desk at work. Not so much now. Spring also means lots of yard work. Which I hate. So when I do have a minute, I might prefer to chase the sunset on the back of a motorcycle.

*Cue Lion King Music* One of our sunset rides late last summer. Sometimes we just pull off on the side of the road and watch ’em!

I only have my temps right now, which doesn’t allow me to ride past dark, so no solo sunset cruises for me yet.

Every spring, on those first few rides of the season, I always forget how much I love being on a motorcycle. There’s just something so unbelievably awesome about just going… It doesn’t matter where, just go out and play “Left Right.” You take random left and right turns until you don’t know where you are, then try and find your way home.

It’s not always about the destination,
sometimes it’s about the journey.

The thing that I love the most? The smells.

In a car, you can’t smell the things you smell on a motorcycle. Fresh-cut grass, hay, farms. Even the smell of laundry as we ride through our neighborhood is enough to make me smile and breathe a little deeper.

We put almost 200 miles on our bikes over Mother’s day weekend. Most of those were back roads and city streets. After a long ride with my sister and her fiancee DJ, I hopped on the back of Travis’ bike and we took the back roads from Columbus to Marysville. I love night rides. It’s especially amazing once the lightning bugs come out!

My bike! We drove all the way to Detroit, Michigan for her!

We took back roads because I’d never been on a highway on a bike yet… But Saturday night, I experienced the highway for the first time. It was different. I didn’t like not being able to communicate. Highway speed is 70 mph and the sound of the bike at that speed is so loud you can barely scream over it. The rural highways were ok, but once we got into Columbus onto 270, traffic picked up and it got louder. You can guess, I’m not a major fan of uber-loud pipes.

Loud is one thing, but the bikes *cough*Harleys*cough* that are so loud that rattle your teeth out of their sockets are ridiculous. They sound like someone riding a fart machine on a bull horn. Get outta here!

Here is the semi-creepy bridge near our house that I love riding to at night!

Here is the semi-creepy bridge near our house that I love riding to at night!

270’s surface is also pretty sketchy. (Though, nothing compared to Michigan’s highways!!) This time of year, it still resembles the crater-riddled surface of the moon, thanks to winter. We’ll probably continue to ride side streets when we can, but long trips back from LoCo (Logan County, where I grew up), we’ll probably suck it up and take the highway home. It shaves about 30 minutes off the trip which makes my back and butt happy at the end of a long day.

After the long rides over the weekend my back was bothering me, but no more than usual. Jump to Wednesday night while getting ready for bed, I leaned over to pick something up and it felt like someone walked up behind me and put a shot gun against my lower back and pulled the trigger. I tried to just go to bed and sleep it off, but when I rolled over in the middle of the night I must have twisted wrong and the fiery feeling came back ten-fold. I screamed bloody murder and woke poor Travis up from a dead sleep and scared the hell out of him.

It took me over three hours just to sit up and then get out of bed. Once I finally did manage to get up, I couldn’t stand up straight. We decided that probably wasn’t normal and went to the Doctor’s office Thursday morning. Apparently I tore some muscles in my lower back. The fire feeling was the muscles actually tearing. Gross. I’ve been on anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers since and am better, but still not 100%.

Also on our plate this month was our best friend Rob’s wedding,BEST WISHES to those two! Travis was the best man, so you know what that means…


We rented a cabin a few weeks ago and took Rob and the rest of the groomsmen out for a weekend. There was a lot of alcohol involved. Particularly 80 ounces of “premium malt liquor” (2 King Cobra 40 oz. taped to the groom’s hands) which he consumed in under 2 hours.

“We have a piper down! I repeat… we have a piper down!”

The end result? The groom locking himself in the bathroom, while vomiting Taco Bell and sugar cookies into the bathroom sink. That was a success according to the groomsmen. I was just there to act as Den Mother to cook and make sure nobody died or burned the place down. That was a success on my part.

This is a little thing we do called Panorama-rama!

This is a little thing we do called Panorama-rama! Yes, they are waving at themselves.

Especially considering one of the groomsmen has a habit of playing a game I call “Shit-faced Kitchen,” where he pretends he’s Julia Child when he’s loaded, and make things only drunk people would eat, but then he doesn’t eat them. Normally I wouldn’t be concerned about a grown man in a kitchen alone, except did I mention he once passed out drunk after putting pizza rolls in the oven? When his roommate woke up the next morning to a smoky kitchen, she luckily turned the oven off before anything terrible happened. Well, other than to the pizza rolls, which resembled charcoal briquettes after 6 hours in the oven.

Somewhere in the forest near here, there are hearts carved into the trees with these four's initials.

Somewhere in the forest near here, there are hearts carved into the trees with their initials.

On a less bro-ish note: This weekend, Travis and I are heading off for our 6th Annual Memorial Day Extravaganza! (I chronicled one of our other Memorial Day trips in one of my other posts about the Boat from Hell.) This year we needed something easy, so we rented a cottage up on Lake Erie in a little village called Geneva on the Lake. People have been vacationing there for over 100 years! “The strip” is lined with parks, restaurants and arcades. There are several wineries in the area too. I’m looking forward to checking out a new place!

Like a Bat Out of Hell

March just flew past like a bat out of hell! No… not like the Meat Loaf song.


March was crammed full of massive momentous occasions. I loaded up like Ted Nugent on a safari and went out to the hillbilly range at our friend Edd’s and managed to somewhat overcome my skepticism of loaded weapons. Not only did I get over it, I kind of liked it. I still couldn’t shoot a living thing, but I don’t want to pistol whip gun nuts as much. I ended up collecting a somewhat large pile of brass by the end of the day. I even got to fire my friend’s monster 44 magnum. It was a hand cannon, but not as scary as my husband’s pistol grip shot gun, which actually made several of the dudes shake their hands out after firing it!

I’m still skeptical of 98% of people’s capability to handle and operate a loaded weapon.

And I already posted about getting my first dirt bike and riding it for the first time. Also riding my husbands motorcycle for the first time.

In March, I also celebrated the purchase of my first motorcycle! Though, I have yet to ride it, since Ohio’s springs leave much to be desired by way of the lack of dry roads. I don’t really feel like eating pavement my first time in the seat. :(

We also mentioned that we managed to finally haul our camper Hell on Wheels home. We had to back her in our driveway at 11pm on a Sunday night.*

*Warning! The next few paragraphs contain my rant about inconsiderate neighbors! I try to keep things here as up-beat as possible, so my apologies for the negativity that follows…

However, since we live on a very small street where the neighbor across the street is kind enough to have four of his unused vehicles parked right across from our driveway, we had to drive through the yard (ugh!) while our seriously awesome next-door neighbor watched from his window while grinding his teeth. Not at us, but because we had to do that, since the guy across the street apparently is running a used car lot. (They have 7 vehicles total. Only 3 people live there, which includes the 40+ year old no-job-having son.)


Above is a map to illustrate how we got a 27 foot camper into our driveway. Our house is the one with the yellow star. The used car lot automobiles are the blue ones marked 1-7. Note that 5 is in the driveway and 6 and 7 are actually in the garage! They only operate 6 and 5 on a daily basis. The grey cars are my car (left) and the awesome neighbor’s (right).

This would be the same neighbor who came running out of his house last summer when I parked in front of his house (city streets here = public parking) after I had worked a 11 hour day, then made my 1 hour commute home, yelling at me to move my car because “that’s where his son (yes, the one without a job) parked his van.” Too exhausted to argue with him, I moved my car further up the street. When I told my husband what had happened, it took everything I had to keep him from marching across the street and shoving his size 12 Dr. Marten up the old grump’s butt.

Lately, we’ve been entertaining the idea of moving. We seem to be acquiring more things than we have room for. We really need a garage and more parking. Preferably somewhere where I can’t spit and hit my neighbor’s house!

Anyway… back to Happy Town! So yes, we got the camper parked and started on our biggest DIY project to date! We began disassembling the interior. I ordered the new flooring, we went with vinyl “wood” plank flooring. They look amazing, are supposed to survive the apocalypse and be easy to DIY install. I also made a trip to JoAnn Fabric and picked out the curtain fabric. Then we started tearing up the front wall of the camper where there was some water damage and it appears we may have underestimated the severity of the damage… Womp-womp. *Sad Trombone*

Since we don’t have a garage/barn/inside place, we’ll need at least 2-3 consecutive days of good, dry weather to take off the camper’s siding and repair/replace the water damaged studs and rehang the window. Not to mention, we have to pack up everything and put it away each night. And the kicker is… we only can create ONE city trash can size amount of trash once a week. Those things are like 50 gallons maybe? And, that includes the regular trash we create from the house. Our city’s bulk pickup doesn’t take construction or remodeling refuse, so we’d technically have to pay for a dumpster. Blargh!

Even though the the extent of it all is sort of overwhelming, we’re going to keep our Glass-Half-Full-Hats on and keep on keepin’ on! Because what fun is a project if it doesn’t make you cry, rip your hair out or bleed a few times?!

Here are the photos of our progress thus far. It’s pretty scary. The interior is very reminiscent of the set of the Golden Girls.

We’ve found where the leaks were, removed the old insulation, which was soaking up the water like a sponge and keeping all that wood wet all the time. Hopefully we’ll still be able to get this fixed up and come in under budget. Which is pretty tight, due to the fact that there’s zero sense in investing more money into this thing than we’ll be able to get back out if. This is a starter camper and project piece, but eventually we’d like to downsize to something smaller and lighter. And newer.

But that’s where we are now! We’re hoping to get everything cleaned up and in working order by the end of May so we can enjoy the summer camping season. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sorta-Busy Beaver

Sorta Busy Beaver

We have been sorta busy little beavers at Casa Awesomesauce lately!

With the (hopefully soon) passing of yet another disgusting Ohio winter, Spring is starting to show itself in gradual peeks here and there. The temps have been in the mid to high 50’s for about a week, and today they’re promising a record-breaking 71 degrees! Did I mention this warm snap has come after months of sub-zero temperatures and above average snow falls? Why, just three weeks ago, I slipped and fell on the ice walking across the street to work. That ice patch has been there since early January. But today, I’m wearing flip flops.

As the saying goes, “if you don’t like the weather in Ohio, just wait a week or two.” Ain’t that the truth!

Todays weather

A little screen cap of my “weather station” on my computer today! Hey Melbournians, we’re almost at the same temp right now!

But enough about the boring small-talk. With spring comes the renewal of… motivation. So we have been starting to turn the wheels (literally and figuratively!) on some of our bucket list items.

A few weeks ago, I watched this amazing 1971 documentary called On Any Sunday. It’s mainly about three motorcycle racers in the 1960’s, Mert Lawwill, Malcolm Smith and the famous Steve McQueen. These guys were hard-core. They raced come hell and high water and proved to be amazing athletes!

And I’ve always loved motorcycles! Every summer there were motorcycle races at the county fair. This was my favorite day of the fair (a close second was the Sunday night Demolition Derby!) I always wished I could race like they did. I always thought how cool the younger kids were who competed, and on the rare occasions when they announced a heat with a female rider in it, I was green with envy! How completely bad ass those chicks were!

I grew up riding four-wheelers. I could ride 125cc when I was 3 or 4. It was an automatic, but you still had to change the gears with a foot peg. I couldn’t reach the gears or foot brake, but I could reach down and change the gears with my hand and use the hand brakes! When I was older, I used to do laps for hours in the field behind our house pretending I was a mini Evel Knievel. I always thought I was so bad-ass when I would manage to ramp the four-wheelers over a hill and get maybe an inch of air. My dad always laughed watching, because after I landed you could hear the tools in the seat compartment clanging around.

Four wheels were fun, but I always wanted a dirt bike! So last Sunday, my childhood dreams were made a reality. HA HA!

Not because I wanted to fulfill my lifelong dream of flat track racing… but because everyone has always told me that in order to get some experience with a clutch and two wheels, (I’d never driven a clutch on anything but a car) I should try out a dirt bike before moving on to a street bike.

I admit it. I’m a pretty big chicken. I drove a motorcycle once about 7 years ago and the person who was “instructing” me pretty much convinced me that I’d kill myself on a bike. They told me “on a motorcycle, it’s not a matter of if you wreck, it’s a matter of when.”

Ok, hold up. Maybe if I were a 16 year old know-it-all-kid starting out, that may be the truth. But I feel like if you respect the machine, stay off the sauce and pay attention to what the hell is going on around you, you are no more likely to bite the dust on two wheels than you would if you were on 4.

So I’ve ridden a few times since last weekend. I feel like I’m making progress. Travis has had the patience of a SAINT! He has been an absolutely amazing help. He took a rider safety course the first year he had his bike, and that has helped him to be a much more confident and capable rider. He’s been using a lot of the stuff he learned there to help me.

My first ride, I was petrified and really shaky, I barely made it into 2nd gear. The next day, we did laps around Travis’ work’s warehouse building for a couple hours and I made it up into 4th gear. One night last week, Travis put me on his Yamaha V Star 650 and I managed to cruise through a parking lot in 1st gear. And just for shits and giggles, Travis felt brave enough to ride on the back seat. I only wobbled a little!

Just like riding a bicycle.

A 500 lb V-twin bicycle.

Every time I look at this I laugh out loud. Braaaap!

Yesterday I took the dirt bike up to my mom’s and took it on grass for the first time. I did laps for a couple of hours just trying to get more comfortable. My mom sat in the driveway hollering “Wheelie! Wheelie! Wheelie!” every time I went past. She’s not right. <3

It’s not quite as scary as it seemed a week ago. Of course once I get to the point where I’m riding on the street, it will be quite another story! I’ve been studying for the permit test and I’ve managed to get a 100% on a 150 question practice test. (It’s like the first thing I’ve ever gotten a 100% on. I’ve never been a good student.) So Travis too me to take the permit test on Saturday, but the wait was over an hour and I had an appointment to get my hair did in an hour. Boo! We’ll try back again sometime this week on our lunch hour!

Cross your fingers!

I had to leave the bike at my mom’s last night. We had to haul the camper home, and after all was said and done, we spent more time than anticipated getting the camper tow-ready and didn’t want to take the extra 30+ min to unhitch the camper, move all of the crap out of the bed of the truck into the cab of the truck, load the bike and rehitch the camper. So we left her in the garage at my moms. :(

This picture makes it look like the camper is almost as big as my house.

This picture makes it look like the camper is almost as big as my house.

But the silver lining to that is THE CAMPER IS FINALLY HOME! After I posted almost a whole year ago that we were going to re-do this camper, we had to replace leaky pipes in our basement, had to buy a new washer and dryer and then had to pay for a really expensive surgery for our dog, Carli. Then when we finally went to fetch the camper, we learned that the wiring was bad and couldn’t haul it home with no tail lights. :( So last summer was not a good summer as far as finances go.

But we’re going to give ‘er another go this year. We’re going to sit down tonight and figure out all that needs to be done (there’s some water damage, hopefully minor) and what we want to be done. We want to accomplish kind of a lot of stuff on a very small budget. We’re hoping to at least repair the damage, paint the interior and update the curtains and cushions. I’ve already bought some cheap accessories to cutesy things up a smidge!

Last spring, we named her Hell on Wheels! (Hellen for short… get it?) I started a “Smash book” that we’ll keep in the camper and put in fun little things we pick up or do on our trips when we hit the road. We mainly hope to a lot of Boondocking since we like to take one of our dogs with us, and a lot of camp grounds and state parks don’t allow alcohol and enforce “quiet time.” Not that we’re loud-ass drunks, we just enjoy a few beers around the campfire at night with a guitar or music. And to be honest, we’re not totally crazy about camping right next to a bunch of randos. We live in the city practically on top of our neighbors, so camping for us is a chance to get the hell outta Dodge and get some fresh air and peace and quiet! I’m sure as it gets hotter in the summer, I will enjoy the A/C in the camper, so we’ll try to find some more spread out camp grounds with hook ups!

Well that’s it for now! Hope everyone has a great week and is able to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather! And happy early St. Patrick’s day! Don’t forget to wear your green!

A smorgasbord of posts, if you will!

I love the word “smorgasbord.”

It reminds me of Templeton the rat from Charlotte’s Web singing about how a fair is a smorgasbord-orgasbord.

Today is the first day of Lent… which means… 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS CHALLENGE!!

What is this you ask? Well, let me just tell you! It’s an awesome “challenge” that I discovered last year thanks to Ann Marie over at White House Black Shutters. I even blogged about it in more detail in this post of yore!

The Basics: You get rid of one bag/box/whatever of “junk” every day for the 40 days of the challenge, which just so happen to coincide with Lent. You can trash, donate, give away, or do anything you want with the stuff! The whole point is just to get rid of the crap!

Since we did this last year, I have a really helpful gauge to measure by: If we haven’t used/worn the item since LAST year’s 40 Bags, it’s gettin’ the boot. Last year we were so B.A. (that means bad ass) at this, we ended up getting rid of:

  1. A Desk
  2. A Treadmill
  3. A Drum set
  4. A King size mattress, box springs and frame
  5. A CAR!!!!!
  6. A Lawn mower
  7. A Weed whacker
  8. An older programmable thermostat
  9. Xbox Kinect (we used it a grand total of one time in the year+ we had it.)
  10. 13 JUMBO contractor sized bags of clothing and shoes & coats (donated to Goodwill)
  11. 2 large boxes of misc stuff
  12. 3 pieces of “house ware”
  13. And this HUGE pile of crap that came out of the shed that went to bulk pickup. Coolers, a recliner, vanity mirrors, broke tvs, vacuum, carpet cleaner… etc.

Goodbye Trash

And I’ve done a pretty damn good job of keeping up with the clutter over the year. It feels so damn good to purge! I’ve even minimized the amount of “goo” I keep in my shower! I was so sick of knocking crap onto the floor of the shower, so now I have less product than my husband does. 2 of the 4 shelves in my shower are even completely bare. Gasp!

So long story short, we still have (uuuuugh!!) a master bedroom and a laundry room to whip into shape. And unfortunately, someone *cough*Travis*cough* fell a little behind on the shed again, so these are going to be the main focus over the next 40 days. Squee!

Because you know what?

  1. You don’t need all of this stuff.
  2. It won’t make you happier.
  3. Your home should not make you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
  4. You do not need to be embarrassed.
  5. You can do this. (repeat that)
  6. You are not alone in feeling this way.

Jump on the band wagon! It’s fantastic! (I’m selling the Kool-Aid!)

Get all the juiciest of details at the White House Black Shutters website. She even has a cool little printout so you can keep track of all the decrapifying you’ve done!

GOOD LUCK! And, ahem… May the Force be with you.

Castle Crashers

Landolls Pic

Travis, DJ, Mandi and Me – I’m doing what my family refers to as “bite the apple.” I thought everyone else was doing it, but apparently I was the only one, so that explains why I look kind of like an opera singer.

We got another chance to do a little tiny bit of traveling over the Valentines Day weekend! We ventured about 2 hours north of Columbus to a little place in the middle of the Mohican State Forest, called Landoll’s Mohican Castle.

My sister and her main squeeze joined us, which was fantastic because I think we might have been bored otherwise. With it being winter, there wasn’t a whole lot to do, but we had a lot of fun enjoying each other’s company, playing cards and having some adult beverages and relaxing!

It was about 2 degrees out with wind chills around -10 degrees, plus there was sort of a mini-blizzard while we were there, so we couldn’t really go outside and enjoy nature. Except for the part where I fell down in a cemetery that was on the property. #fail

We enjoyed this toasty little fireplace and being all snuggled up together and warm and safe while being snowed in!

He's misplaced his pipe.

He’s misplaced his pipe.

You can read my Yelp! review of Landoll’s here. There were a few snags, but overall the place was really really cool, but we felt like it was a tad over-priced, especially in the winter when there isn’t as much of a draw to the area. We would most certainly go back sometime, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for specials and discounts or head back when it’s canoeing season, since Mohican is prime for that!

We made friends with one the sweet waitresses at the Stepping Stone Restaurant which was on the grounds of Landoll’s. (HI BECKI!!)

We got a little tip from one of the locals that should come back sometime and check out the Mohican Treehouses! They look so cool (I always wanted a treehouse), AND they have outdoor showers, which is possibly one of my favorite things in the world!

So there’s all of that. We don’t have any more traveling fun planned until Memorial Day weekend, which is our Memorial Day Extravaganza trip. We take a trip every year, but our most “memorable” MDE trip was chronicled here in The Boat From Hell part one AND two!

Honorable Mentions

Some other honorable mentions from my blogging hiatus…

FullSizeRenderMeet Elvis. Travis got this for me for Valentines Day. It is a real freaking stuffed teddy bear. No, we don’t have any idea what we’re going to do with him.

I also got this. Well, one just like this. This photo doesn’t do it any justice.

Which if you’re someone who knows me well, you would probably think that this was a joke.

I’m not “into” guns. I grew up around guns. I’ve used guns, I know how to shoot them, I know about gun safety, I’m actually even a better shot than Travis is and I’m into western movies. Hell, Wyatt Earp is my dude!

But I hate guns.

Not to be all dramatic, but long story-short, I got car-jacked when I was 20. The punk ass stuck a gun in my face. He fired the gun, not at me thank heavens, but it was still a little rattling. I’ve also had several friends who were killed as a result of accidents with guns. Not to mention a few that weren’t accidents. Ugh.

I  also feel like some people use guns (like they do their trucks) as a measuring tape in which to measure their… junk.

Well hubs, my sister and my future-bro-in-law talked me into shooting their shotgun. Lo-and-behold, it was kind of fun. Loud. But fun.

So Travis had hope that he could get me a little more comfortable with the whole gun situation, so he bought me a Ruger 10/22. A rifle with a little less kick, something I can hopefully enjoy without the fear of killing myself or others and/or losing my hearing.

As I mentioned before, it’s been below freezing for weeks here in Ohio, so in order to shoot my new gift, we ventured out to a local shooting range over the weekend. Bad decision. Neither of us had been to a range before, so I guess we didn’t really know what to expect.

It was so… freaking… loud… And crowded. The a-holes a few lanes down had rented a gun from the range. Listening to the staff member talking about it, he exclaimed how it was the largest caliber that they allowed at indoor ranges. Super. The concussion from it was so strong, it actually sucked the breath out of your lungs every time it was fired.

I also stood and watched as each of the 8 dumbasses taking turns firing it kept setting it down on the counter… with the safety off… fully loaded. The staff dude kept asking them over and over if they set the safety. They just laughed and said “Uhh, no. Whoops.”

Whoops my ass.

Aren’t these places supposed to be like the mecca of safety and knowledge?! It was like recess at the gun range. It seems common sense isn’t very common anymore! So after about 15 minutes, we left. Travis was just as frustrated as I was, if not more so.

I won’t let it completely discourage me. I’d just rather set up some tin cans on a fence post like I did when I was a kid and do things the old fashioned way, where I know the people I’m sharing a “range” with aren’t going to shoot me in the face!

Oh spring, come quick!