Saturday, February 16, 2013

Encounter with a Raccoon

Renting a U-Haul should be a fairly simple, normal procedure, right?!  Well, nothing is normal in my life.  While renting a U-Haul on Tuesday, I had the following conversation with the owner of the shop. By the way . . . I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut!

(Scene:  39 year-old female stands at counter filling out paperwork with her brother for U-Haul rental.  Owner of shop stands behind register, trying to concentrate on entering customer information.  Big-mouth female customer interrupts his work to start a conversation about the stuffed raccoon hanging on the wall.

Me (39 year-old female customer) :  Where did you get that stuffed raccoon?
Owner:  In the Wendy's dumpster.
Me:  What?!  Are you serious?  You just found it dead in the Wendy's dumpster and decided to stuff it?
Owner:  No.  It was a momma raccoon.  I watched it from the window all summer long.  It would get into the dumpster and feed her babies.
Me:  So, how did it die?
Owner:  I hit it over the head with a shovel.
Me (sharp intake of breath):  Seriously?!  But it's head doesn't look mashed in.
Owner:  I just gave it a light tap on the head.  I just knocked it unconscious. 
Me:  Well . . . how did it die then?
Owner (in a matter-of-fact voice):  I put it into a plastic bag and hooked the bag up to my car exhaust.
Me:  Wow.  That seems kind of brutal.
Owner:  Oh, no, it wasn't.  That coon had been leaving feces in my U-Haul all summer and chewed up a U-Haul seat in one of my trucks.
Me (thinking to myself):  I wonder if he's going to rent me the U-Haul filled with raccoon feces?
Me (out loud):  So, then you just stuffed it?
Owner:  I have a good friend that stuffed it.  I told him to make the coon look really nice and friendly, because Wilbur scares people. (He pointed his finger towards a nearby wall.)  That's Wilbur.
I glanced over at the wall and saw Wilbur.  Oh, my goodness.  Seriously?!
Me:  How did Wilbur die?  (I secretly wondered if he'd gone to a farm, hit sweet Wilbur on the head, bagged him and hooked him up to the exhaust as well.)
Owner:  I shot him with a bow and arrow.
Me:  I can see why children would be scared of Wilbur.
Owner (laughing):  Oh, yea.  He scares the kids.  (pause) By the way, I can get you a raccoon if you want one.
Me (thinking):  Oh, yes.  That is just what I need.  A friendly raccoon hanging from a tree limb on my wall at home in the kitchen.

Owner (as we were getting ready to leave):  Here is a keychain with a tag on it to our tune-up shop and a second tag for Wendy's to get a free Frosty.  We've partnered up with Wendy's for free treats.
Me (thinking):  I bet you have.  Kill the coons in the Wendy's garbage cans=free Frosty.

My life is stranger than fiction!
P.S.  The owner is currently getting vinyl lettering made to put under the stuffed raccoon.  Her name is "Ricky".

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm Losing It!

     I think I lost some brain cells when I turned 39.

     Last Wednesday when I got home from school, I realized I had forgotten to put on a bra that morning.  I had gone all day free as a bird.  Thank goodness I wore a cardigan over my dress!

     Then on Saturday, I was making myself a grilled cheese and buffalo chicken sandwich on the stovetop.  I flipped that sandwich about 5 times, but it just wasn't browning.  Then I realized that I'd never even turned the burner on.

     This morning, I put on my running clothes and then sat down on the toilet to use the restroom.  I suddenly realized, I was sitting on the pot and I had forgotten to pull my pants down.

     I'd like to blame all of these mistakes on my increasing age, but I think the reality is . . . I need more sleep.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FHE at Hebers = Complete Lack of Reverence

     Ian taught the Family Home Evening lesson last night.  The topic was the Doctrine of Christ.  He has to teach about this topic to his Sunday School class this Sunday, so we thought he'd better practice the lesson on us first.

     His introduction to the lesson went something like this . . .

     "Tell me what you know about the Doctrine of Christ."


     "Okay.  Let's read some scriptures about the Doctrine of Christ."

     This took about 20 minutes.

     Cali said, "This is the longest Family Home Evening lesson ever!"

     Next, Ian split us into missionary teams so we could prepare a quick picture/diagram and lesson about one of the Doctrines of Christ.

     Carson and I chose Baptism.  I let him draw the picture and didn't look at it very carefully before we stood up to share.  I began a serious monologue about what baptism is.  Then Carson interrupted me and said to the family, "See the people watching the baptism?  They are saying, 'Is that a shark?!' See the shark!  It's going to eat the boy getting baptized!"  All semblance of order was lost.

     Next, came Aaron and Cali.  Their topic was Enduring to the End.  Aaron has never claimed to be an artist, but this is a true masterpiece.  He drew a picture of the turtle and the hare.  He then told the story . . . "Once upon a time, there was a rabbit and a hare . . ."
"What?!" everyone went berserk.  "A rabbit is a hare, Dad!"  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!

      Finally, Nyah taught about Repentance.  She told a story of a little girl, named Bobette, who cut off a patch of her friend, Angie's hair.  No one could stop laughing.  Each time she said the name, Bobette, there were roars of laughter.  Bobette ended up repenting of her dreadful hair-cutting sin during the story, but I'm not sure if anyone was paying attention.

Poor Ian.  I sure hope his Sunday School class is a better audience than his family!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Proof is in the Butt Shot

The St. George 1/2 Marathon was different this year.  Normally, I go down to St. George with a couple of friends Friday night, run the race on Saturday morning, and drive back exhausted as soon as the race is over.  Somehow, everyone talked their spouses into running the 5k this year, and spending the weekend with us.  It was fabulous!  The guys got to enjoy all of the crazy pre-race rituals:  laying out the race clothes the night before, wondering if different race clothes should be worn instead, setting and resetting alarms, planning the morning pre-race menu . . . Aaron looked around at the craziness and said, "If we are leaving at 8 am for the race, wake me up at 7:45."  He takes a very different approach. 

A couple of race stories:  I ran behind this man in the white Ogden shirt for most of the race.  I'm not sure if he beat me to the finish line or if I beat him, but this picture makes it look like we formed some kind of a bond along the way.  We really didn't talk because I couldn't breathe.  He looks happy, like he's feeling good.  I look . . . perplexed and beaten down!

I was so happy to be done.  The last 3 miles nearly did me in!

Marisa rocked the race.  She came in 1st place in her age division.  Amazing!!  

When I reached Mile 9 of the race, I was done.  I couldn't breathe, my stomach was cramping, and I couldn't get my GU or my Zipp Fizz bottles up to my mouth because my hands had stopped functioning.  A cheerful looking group of guys was running beside Marisa and me at this point in the race.  One of the guys asked, "How are you doing?"  

"I feel like I'm going to crap my pants," I panted.

"What?!" he asked.  He couldn't hear me because I was barely breathing.  

I gathered some breath and yelled, "I think I'm going to crap my pants!"

"Oh.  Don't do that.  It would ruin your pants," he said laughing.

I kept running.  I kept gasping.  I didn't poo my pants.  The above picture is proof.  Clean drawers.  

Almost better than a medal!

Fabulous running friends.  They both look great in sunglasses.  I wish I could wear a pair, but I was told by the guy at The Sunglass Hut (after he tried to fit me with a pair of sunglasses for over an hour) that I don't have a bridge on my nose, and therefore am not a candidate to be a sunglass wearer.  What are the chances of being born without a bridge?

 So proud of our guys!
 Aaron rocked the 5k.  He ran it in 25:56.  So awesome!!
 The whole clan!  A huge thank you to Jeff and Stacy for letting us stay at their house!
I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure this is what I'd look like with a "B" cup.  I stuffed my sports bra with toilet paper for potty stops, but since I didn't have to go, I looked more well-endowed than usual at the conclusion of the race.  Thanks everyone for the fabulous weekend!

All photos courtesy of Jason Rucker.


Driving home to Utah from California is never easy.  This year was especially difficult.  We'd spent 4 days at the beach in 50 degree temperatures and were heading back to snow and 0 degree temperatures.    We were leaving family and heading back to a dirty house and Christmas decorations that needed to be taken down.

After leaving Mesquite, Nevada, early Sunday morning for the last push home, Carson said, "Mom, I feel kind of sick."

"Grab a bag!" I yelled to the other kids in the backseat.

"We can't find one," they replied.  No one had even looked.  They were all busy watching movies and listening to music.  No one cared that little Carson was about to vomit all over the seat.

I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I rolled down the window and tossed my Diet Pepsi out of my 42 oz. cup.  "Ah!"  The kids all screamed as some of the soda splashed onto the them.  My aim isn't all that great.

"What are you doing, Vanessa?!" Aaron said from the driver's seat.

"Getting something for Carson to throw up in!" I screamed.

"He's not going to throw up," Aaron responded.  "Calm down."

I handed Carson the 42 oz. cup and he immediately filled it with sausage biscuits and gravy, a waffle, orange juice and a danish.  His entire meal from the Continental Breakfast fit into that cup.

I was a hero.  We stopped along the side of the road and left that cup as a treat for the next passerby.  After Carson threw up, Cali miraculously found this bag in the back seat for her brother to hold.  No one complained about the long trip after that.  Everyone just prayed to get home with no more vomit.

Beach Runs

The beach is my all time favorite place to run.  The funny thing is, I never actually run ON the beach; I run on the asphalt.  No matter.  The salty ocean air, beautiful sunrises, 40 degree temperatures, breaks on the pier and talks with Cali and Emmy Lou make time fly by.  These pictures make me want to get in the car and drive, drive, drive so I can run, run, run!

Who's Happy to Be At the Park?

I love looking back at family pictures -- especially the candid ones.  People's true feelings are revealed in candid pictures.  How did the Heber family feel about standing in Avila Park (over Christmas break) in chilly temperatures?  I spy some happy campers and some cold, but patient campers.

Christmas at the Pool

Why is it that the best memories on ANY family vacation are always made in the swimming pool?  Belly smackers, cannonballs, funny faces, jokes, Marco Polo . . . It never gets old!  Those that chose not to get in the pool had just as much fun as those in their suits. :)

Christmas Morning 2012 with Grandma and Grandpa Heber

Grandma and Grandpa Heber gave us the most wonderful Christmas gifts this year.  Cali and I got the teary gifts:  a homemade blanket for me and a banjo for Cali.  What a wonderful morning!