Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it...yet.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogging NYC: The Land of the Icee

I'm alive! I really am--just hot and worn out from all the awesome things we're doing and busybusybusy. (Starts singing Sandra Boynton's busy song.)
Never fear, though. I shall blog about every tiny last thing we've been doing--with pictures!--even if it's only when I get home. These exciting blogs will feature, among other things (tantalizing hint time!) Harry Potter, Broadway, Aaron Burr the idiot (figure that one out, Students of Liberty), swimming pools, henna, Anne of Green Gables, picnics, statues, and animals. Some of the animals are named Terry and Klyde.
For now, in my limited time, I shall write about The Thing That Has Kept Us Going in This Mind-Boggling Heat: Icees.

Yes, my friends, Icees. It's hotter than Hades here, but there's a handy-dandy Icee cart at every corner of our Subway stop, as well as traveling up and down most major streets. Just one dollar and you have yourself a cupful of delicious, cool, wet, life-preserving slush. You would not believe the amount of money we've forked over for these in the last two weeks. It's hot here, people!
And more exciting news! An actual Icee just opened right around the corner from our house. Awesome, right? Now we can fetch our daily doses without even breaking a sweat! (I swear they're spiking the ice with something, because the things are addicting.)
And now that you've had your little glimpse into New York life, I really must fly!
Love to you all,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Exhausted, Sopping Wet, and Discouraged

It's only eight o'clock. I just finished giving Terry a shower, and the boys are finally almost in bed. It's been a long, long day.
Everyone was so tired out from the heat that we slept in, which made us start the day off late, which threw off eating schedules, which threw off everything else...basically it snowballed into a pretty pathetic day. Everybody was hot and tired which resulted in bad tempers all around. It's not so bad with Terry--he's too young to get very upset and just flares up, then calms down. Klyde, though, is a champion sulker. Much sulking went on today. Also whining.
We went to the library, which I thought would be wonderful, but the boys were too restless. We tried to read to them but they complained about our literary choices (not enough Captain Underpants!) then wandered off to pull books from the shelves. The librarians were happy we left. We tried to get them to at least walk around with us, but four- and seven-year-olds don't see the draw in architecture and dusty leather books.
When we got home, we denied them not only the TV and the computer but also--horror of horrors!--the DS. This apparently was our little Harlem version of the Intolerable Acts. More sulking ensued. Then there was trouble with dinner due to lack of ingredients and then general silliness and a lot of water all over the bathroom.
Hopefully things will get better tomorrow, but what kind of mom am I going to end up as in a few years if I can't even handle two little boys for three days?
Living here is just so tiring; nothing is close-by or easy to get to. In the words of a street performer, "When said and done, it's not easy. This is New York."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My dear friends, there are now three days. Just three short days, until it all ends. I don't know about you all, but I for one am pretty darn excited. This is going to be better than Red Vines.
Way back when there were 90 days to go, my dear friend Stanley and I made a paper chain countdown. We used the House Colors for the links and wrote a quote on every one of them. We used AVPM, Potter Puppet Pals, the literal trailer, the seventh book, and the first part of the seventh movie for our sources; if I do say so myself, it was totally awesome. May I now present, for the purpose of passing the time in those three days, some of my favorites?

"You're not alone! Cuz you're here with me."
"I open at the close."
"Ooh, look! A Blibbering Humdinger!"
"Ew, Squirt? No thanks, I'll stay dehydrated."
"No!" "No!" "Harry! HARRY!"
"Merlin's Pants!"
"He needs a nose."
"Now that we've got that four-part harmony out of the way..."
"Every day, if you want us to." "Not every day."
"You have one hour."
"I wanna take you up to Winnipeg--that's in Canada!"
"Wave hand, up skirt, windy, kissing!"
"It's me. I'm extremely famous."
"Snape. Snape. Severus Snape."
"There's the silver lining I've been looking for."
"Grandpa Weasley would never forgive you for marrying a Pureblood."
"Ginny and I had prepared a cake!"
"Oh. Right. No antlers."
"Teddy--our Teddy--snogging Victoire! Our cousin!"
"Actually I'm highly logical."
"Die-dum. What's a die-dum?"
"Just keep talking about that little light touching your heart..."
"For the greater good."
"Can you tell me how Lost ends?"
"I know who you are. You're that Snape boy!"
"Days and weeks and maybe even years."
"That is a BOSS Zefron poster."
"A great big, muscley, super strong, super hott MAN."
"That's right, Harry...come on, think of something happy."
"You dare--" "Yes. I dare."
"Always the tone of surprise."
"Kill the snake?" "Kill the snake."
"Are you a wizard, or what?"
"You came back?" "I came home."
"Oi! There's a war on!"
"Dobby didn't mean to kill--only maim, or seriously injure."
"For Dumbledore!"
"Here lies Dobby, a free elf."
"And then come back! You've got to come back!"
"I know Harry Potter, and I reckon he's the real thing."
"Avada Kedavra!" "Expelliarmus!"
"All was well."

Happy Harry Potter-ing, everyone! If you don't recognize a quote, ask for the source in the comments. ~8)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Sky Fourth of July

Quick catch-up post before we dive right into New York City.
I started Independence Day off right by waking up on my Colonial Days schedule: early in the morning. My first thought was honestly "This time back home, I'd be avoiding John Wolfe right about now." But I got out of my I-miss-Provo rut quickly enough and entirely enjoyed the day.
Small-town Fourths are...different. Home's not big, mind, but our celebrationsare huge. Here, not so much. And much more hick. (In a good way.)

We went to the parade in Choteau (pronounced Show-toe.)
Now this parade is no Macy's Thanksgiving extravaganza. It's not even Provo's Independence Celebration. Nope, this is the heart of Montana...which turns out to be really, really small. There are three main vehicles: Horses. Tractors (or combines.) And old cars. Mind you these old cars are not "Look at me and my vintage-ness," but rather "I haven't actually bought a new car since 1952." Endearing in an odd sort of way. The parade goes al the way through town, then turns around and comes back--it takes about 40 minutes total.

We then proceeded to the family picnic, where we ate sloppy joes, chips, Shasta soda (a 4th of July Gleason tradition) and THE BEST ICECREAM ON EARTH. Period. We make icecream parlor runs probably three times per trip. Sometimes more, but who's counting?

Then...the rodeo. Oh yes. Funny, thrilling, occasionally terrifying. If you've never been to one, you should probably get on it.

After that we were pretty exhausted so the day just kind of ran down into chatting, with fireworks in the evening. Huzzah for America!

One very important aspect of the vacation that I've neglected to mention: The Gleason Plague of 2011.
It struck on Saturday, July 2nd. By the 4th, 25 people were afflicted. Instead of Big Skies, this is what we all looked at for a few days:
At last count, we infected 50 out of the 150 in attenance at the reunion. It was pretty miserable for a while there.

I finish posting about Montana with this picture of my brother, just to remind you all that some things never change, even 600 miles from home, and this video, which really does sum up our entire trip, and our entire family.

We got into New York Saturday afternoon, no problems. (Luggage getting to the correct baggage claim is a greater miracle than planes flying.) I knew I was going to have a good trip when we stepped out of the airport and saw this facing us on a bus:

Sunday was quiet. We ate pancakes and watched Anne of Green Gables, which was lovely, until Lauren got here.
Today we went swimming, watched Despicable Me, ate macaroni and cheese, pineapple, and Icees, and went to Central Park. Tomorrow the fun really starts as we officially hit the town.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Blogging NYC: Wait.

I'm not quite in New York yet. I'm in Montana for our giant family reunion--not just extended, but 2nd and 3rd and twice-removed relations. It's called Elyfest, after my Great-grandparents on my mom's mom's side. The reunion is at the beautiful, old-fashioned farm where my grandmother and mother grew up: Teton Dairy.
 The farm.
The spigot. (What do you mean, you don't have one?)
There are about 150 of us here, filling three houses, three campers, two bunkhouses, a few hotel rooms, and a tent. Before everyone arrived, we spent the first few days sweeping, sorting, cleaning, polishing, wiping, dusting, mopping, hosing, boxing, (gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking) and burning to get ready for all the extra people. This was good, because there's not actually all that much else to do here...until everyone arrives! Then the party starts.
We play on the swing-sets.
 My second-cousin, Shaea.
All the little'uns.
We talk and hang out and ride horses. We play with the dogs--there are five here. Booger, Chevy, Emma, Ginger, and Bentley (the cutest little hound dog puppy who trips over his ears when he runs.)
Cousins Terry and McCann and anonymous other small relative.
We eat a lot of good food ("Out here, down-home-hearty-cooking is one word.) Sometimes we even sleep.
Klyde and Terry after a long day of hard playing.
On Saturday, we started off the morning with a traditional game of Rock Picking, an accepted form of entertainment here in the hinterlands.
A second-cousin who's name I forget, with my cousin Jesse in the background.
I'm just kidding. We did go out to the Drylands (grazing area) and "pick rocks," but it was for good reason. We need to build a well. Or dyke. Or something. Anyway, it requires lots of rocks. So at 8:00 am we loaded up the pickups and started off. We got five truckloads of rocks that morning.
Second-cousins Tenny and EB. Awesome truck.
The product of our labors.
The long grasses and wildflowers naturally manifested themselves in the crowning of many Prairie Princesses and Mountain Maidens.
Second-cousin Laura.
Then, because digging up boulders doesn't really count as exercise, we went on a six-mile roundtrip hike. It was long and difficult, we did our fair amount of bushwacking, and I got sunburnt (surprise!) but it was entirely worth it. We hiked up a trail, and then a canyon, to get to a beautiful waterfall. This involved lots of trying not to get wet, which was proved pointless when we all hopped into the ice-melt shower at the end.

I'm going to go on a quick but relevant tangent here. Did you know I'm related to a superhero? It's true. This is my first-cousin-once-removed-but-really-he's-more-of-an-uncle Brian.

He looks perfectly fine, right? Right. But he shouldn't be. Just a few months ago, he was thrown from his sixty-foot-high cherry picker while trimming a tree, and landed on the edge of a cement planter, breaking (not surprisingly) pretty much every bone in his body. He was in a coma for days. We didn't know if he would live. He didn't just survive, though. By all rights he should be recuperating in bed with a nice Western and a cup of chamomile tea. Instead, he's remodeling a house. He hauled stones with the best of us, and walked every inch of our six-mile hike. Plus he's a national-champion ballroom dancer, and basically the nicest person you'll ever meet. Ever.
When we got back, we built a dance floor. (We're cool like that.) And then we danced. And danced and danced and danced until after midnight.

May I just say that I love my family?