Thursday, May 30, 2013

Going off the Rails on the Crazy Train!

It's time for a... (drum roll, please)... whine-fest! But with a happy ending, so no worries.

When last I blogged, Sean was battling something... and it turned out to be a really fine case of poison ivy. I took him to the doctor when I couldn't get it under control and she had definitely seen it around the area. It got on his clothes or something and he did a fine twitchy-itchy-12-year-old-boy job of spreading it all over the place. In fact, he's still got a few itch spots that have not cleared completely, but at least his face is better. He completed his full round of the oral steroids she put him on and is simply putting up with the last itch spots on his legs.

This last week was a dandy. When the tornadoes moved through Oklahoma we found ourselves sitting at an RV park in a tornado warning area without a tornado shelter anywhere to be found. The guy at the park suggested we go down the ravine to the river (the one that overflowed and flooded half the park the next day) if there was a tornado. It was a 20 ft drop and he figured it would be the safest place. Michael and my dad checked it out and there wasn't a cleared path, but there did happen to be...
Poison ivy.
No thank you. We piled all important papers, instruments, and lap tops, and headed south out of the danger area, where we stayed at a motel for the night. That was also the worst night of Sean's poison ivy breakout (side note: he got the poison ivy in Texas the week before and we never saw that), and were doubly thankful for a motel bathtub and the oatmeal bath soak I picked up, since baths are a rare thing for us. He ended up with 3 baths through the night so he could stay sane until we got him to the doctor.

After sitting through rain, flooding campgrounds, poison ivy, and running from tornadoes, we headed to Branson for Silver Dollar City and a show at the Treasure Lake RV. You know you're in a sorry state when you have to drag yourself to Silver Dollar City and attempt to have fun.

We decided to go with the sor
ry state and just show up late, leave early, ride or not ride, and eat ice cream for lunch when nothing else sounded good.

Our youngest overstimulating barometer, Mary, was one big roller coaster, going from bouncy-happy to maximum emotional distress in the blink of an eye. (My most social butterfly is also the one who can handle it the least, it turns out.) We knew it was time to settle down for a bit, but the weather was not cooperating, nor was our schedule. Alex had a fever and was sick for our Treasure Lake show, though she still performed well, and the next day, sick or not, tears or not, itching or not, bad weather or not, we drove several hours to Kansas.

Today we're sitting in east central Kansas with another run of nasty weather, but at least there are no tornado warnings this time. So far.

The whole bus has sat like a bunch of zombies today through the gloomy rain. The sun just came out so Mary has been zipping around on her scooter. She isn't feeling great yet (minor stomach something), but she's not on the roller coaster of emotions, since the excessive socializing has passed. Alex is feeling much better and Sean is itching less. Part of the bus got reorganized yesterday so it's not a horrid disaster, and we selected a nearly empty RV park outside of a casino, that is inexpensive, has good wifi, free cable (too bad I hate TV), and a tornado shelter! Since it's not designed for kids, there are no other children for Mary to socialize with and she has stopped the drama. Whew!

In other words, Lord willing, we will get a few days apart from it all to collect ourselves and recover before the next leg of our journey. It's supposed to be beautiful this weekend, with 3 shows at churches scheduled, (one down last night), and time with good friends later, which can be just what the soul needs when life gets tough. It reminds us a bit that we are apart of a larger body of believers who have our back.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What day is it, anyway?

The last two weeks are kind of a busy blur. We just left Lake Tawakani, which, as far as Thousand Trails parks are concerned, is rather bleh. Thanks to a few other families pulling in they had a lot of playmates, and a whole lot of fun, but it wasn't without its consequences, mainly with my very young drama queen, who tends to emotionally fall apart in the evenings when overstimulated during the day. That's a bit draining after awhile. I'm thankful excessive socialization isn't a daily thing in her life.

Sean is full of pink calamine lotion while I try desperately to get control of a very nasty case of dermatitis. No clue what it came from, but it's not on the skin that would have been exposed to poison ivy or local plants. It is mainly under clothing, other than his face. I have tried rewashing everything with just vinegar water, rinsing him down, etc. It's still there. I almost took him to the doctor, but I did a lot of obsessive research last night and he simply does not match any criteria for something a doctor can actually help. No other symptoms, and no sign of infection. Just itches and patches that look like classic contact dermatitis. I'm hoping a change in atmosphere, now that we left the region, will fix him. We did have someone loan us some prescription cream. It came from someone whose son is allergic to something in that same area and gets the exact same thing, so I'm living dangerously and trying it. It helps some, but can only be used twice a day. So, we went back to benadryl and painting him calamine pink. If it gets worse, we'll head to a doctor this week to see if there is another prescription that will make it quit.

Backing up a bit... ('Cause this blog is so well known for orderly content.) After the celebrations for Miss Mary's birthday we had the twins' birthday. They're 19. Honestly, I have no idea how that happened. I got it right this time on a present. They got lap desks, complete with a spot to hold their drink, a light, places for pencils, and they can lift their lap tops up on it... or a clip board with paper for cartooning. 

Alex has taken to hiding in the bunk area and closing both doors where she works on her graphic design, but both have put them to good use already. With a serious space issue in this bus, they hopefully will be a blessing.

We had a few great shows while staying in the area, even if we had some itching. Our favorite was the Wood County Cowboy Church I love cowboy churches! This one had real cows. Real cowboys too. Not all Cowboy Churches have "real" cowboys. We've been to a few that appear to have people that mostly just love the cowboy "style". Not that I care much, because that is where we'd fall, but it is fun to notice the difference.

The regional differences always surprise me. At this little church in east Texas, it appears all proper gentlemen are taught to remove or at least tip their hat when addressing a lady. I thought it was just a kindly old gesture from the first guy, then every single guy there did the same thing for me and the twins, each time we were introduced. I admit, it made me feel special. Not many places left where men do that. I wonder if any will rub off on my men? Doubt it. They're too Coloradan, and I'm pretty sure there hasn't been a guy from Colorado tipping a hat to a lady in at least a century. We'd feel weird.

So, here we sit in no-where-Oklahoma, hoping the tornadoes decide to skip this area, then we're off to Branson on Thursday, and Kansas next Tuesday. I do love being out on the road again. Itching and all.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Wifi Deprivation, Mother's Day, and Birthdays

So, I'm sitting here at what appears to be the nearest "high speed" wifi to our campground, which happens to be a McDonalds, 18 miles from the bus. The idea was to get Scrivener on my lap top to help me get going on the book I hope to start writing next month. The download started off with just over an hour, and then dropped to 4 hours, now it is around 3 hours, due to wifi competition, coming either from the couple across from me, having lunch with together with their lap tops, or from the mom on a lap top, eating lunch with her daughters, one with ear buds and a device in her ears, the other in her red angry bird pajama pants and bright yellow crocks, on a lap top streaming videos on youtube with her own lap top.

I keep looking at my download, then looking over to each, trying to convince my mind that perhaps they are getting a rare wifi treat and it's important too, instead of thinking annoying thoughts at people who are there just to steal my wifi! I'm hoping they'll finish their sandwiches soon and leave me and my download alone before I feel guilty about sitting here for so long with just a coffee and go get a sandwich myself.

I can't stay here all day people. Don't you realize I have a gluten free chocolate cake to bake tonight?

When I return it will be time for Birthday Gluttony.  Today is not Mother's Day, it's 8-year-old-birthday-gluttony-day. That's a little girl in birthday bliss, too. She has been pouting for months now about the lack of little girl play mates in our recent travels. Well, God must have heard her cries because, just in time for her birthday, He landed SIX little girls, ages 2 to 11, all homeschool and full time on the road, right in our park and right near the bus. Yesterday was full of dress-up, snacks, the start of a puppy club, a play about a dog show complete with dancing and tricks, etc.

Just went down to 1 1/2 hours... back up to an estimated 2 hours...

As for Mother's Day, I don't really care. I'm not much for all-about-me days. Normally what happens is I buy myself something we need anyway, call it my Mother's Day present, and let everyone off the hook from having to stare guiltily at me all day, not knowing what to do, but feeling like they really should be doing something for me, but I didn't tell them what to do, so they don't know what to do.

The twins at least asked me what I wanted. I cringed at the idea of having one more thing to find a place for in the bus and wondered if they'd just clean it. They did. Then I went off to McDonalds to download Scrivener, which seemed like a really cool idea, until people started stealing my wifi...

Back down to 1 1/2 hours... I think the mom with the youtube streaming angry girl pajama pants daughter is getting ready to leave. I should go get something to eat. What's not disgusting here?

No, wait. They got up, returned and started chewing again. Rats. Maybe a milkshake?