Zion Vacation Summary



“We hiked all the way up here, to Angel’s Landing, 1,488 feet,” Corvus tells me.  “That’s where we couldn’t walk any more, and had to use the chain to climb up the rocks.”

Standing at the Visitor Center looking at a topological map of Zion National Park, I almost fainted.  “I definitely got further than I expected, and if you had shown me this map before we went up, I wouldn’t have done it!” I tell him.  “Still, it was fun.  I put to use some of the moves that I learned rock climbing in the gym.”

Sally and I packed A LOT into our one week vacation, including:

One of my good friends has two wolves in a small town south of Dallas, so I took Sally to meet them today.  She LOVED the experience!  Personally, I think they look like big dogs.

I have about a hundred pictures, but Corvus has about a thousand.  Here are just a few.  WOW, looks like we’ve been photoshopped into post cards!  What an amazing adventure!

I managed to prank Sally, but not very well.  She had bought me a dog toy that crinkles, like it has a plastic bag inside.  “Crinkle crinkle” is an old private joke from our Grand Canyon Road Trip (2012), which I could explain but it wouldn’t make sense—it’s one of those “You Had To Be There” jokes.  Anywho, she had given me the dog toy as a gag gift about a month ago.  So I took it to Utah, put it under her pillow, and waited for her to lean back.

Instead, she picked up her pillow to move it.  Who the hell does that?!  Sheesh!  But the dog toy still had the desired effect: she looked at me with wide eyes and laughed hysterically.  We spent several minutes having our usual conversation (again, I could explain it, but…):

“CRINKLE CRINKLE!” she says.

“Yo face!” I say.

“Crinkle!” she says.

“Yo mama!” I tell her.  This makes very little sense when a mother says it to her daughter, which makes us crack up laughing.  And THIS is just one more reason that I love traveling with my little girl: we make each other laugh.

Corvus stopped trying to understand us, and just sat back and smiled.

I explained one conversation by telling him, “I’ve dated a few different guys named Mike: a workaholic, a plumber, a mayor…”

Corvus said, “You need to make this into a rhyme, like ‘This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home.’  Instead, you’ve have, ‘This little Mikey was a workaholic, this little Mikey fixed toilets.  This little Mikey was a mayor, this little Mikey…’”

I DIED laughing.  I’ll finish that fine poetry and post it another day.



Seeing this picture, I think, “I’m a badass!” and then follow that up with, “What the hell was I thinking?!  I could have slipped and died!!” followed by, “Damn, my ass looks GREAT!”

Zion, Days 2 & 3


“Gilmore Girls was a TV series featuring a single mom and her daughter, who she had when she (the mom) was 15.  They were so close in age that they acted more like sisters,” I explain to Corvus.

“We’re like the Gilmore Girls,” Sally adds, “I’m young and you’re…”

I glare at her.  She doesn’t finish her sentence.

Corvus laughs and changes the topic, “We saw some chipmunks today, but no big animals.”

“I saw a cougar!” Salty answers, looking at me.

I laugh and answer, “I do like ’em young!” Then I change the topic with, “Corvus, let’s grab a bottle of wine to drink at the hotel.  I’ll buy, to repay you for the gallons of water you picked up at the store.”

“You’re changing water into wine!” Sally jests.

Zion was awesome yesterday.  Bryce Canyon was amazing today.  We’ll return to Zion tomorrow, to splash through the narrows.

“What would you call a bad adventure? Tapioca balls?” Corvus asks, referring to the fact that we call put adventures, “Pudding.”

“Mm, tapioca!” Sally answers.  “No, what was that stuff your grandma made? Jello salad!”

“With cottage cheese and mayo!” Corvus adds.

“Ewwww!  Jello salad!  Or sour pudding.  Either way, let’s hope we never go there!” I answer.  “Then again, we had a little jello salad; the last trail was closed.”

“Just a small jello salad, like a spoon full,” Sally agreed.




Zion Vaca Day 1


“You know it’s a vacation when you can eat your drink,” Sally said happily, munching on strawberries and basil ftom her strawberry and basil lemonade at The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

Walking down the Strip a little while later, we met a nice couple (fellow tourists).  “Where are y’all from?” I drawled.

“England, near the middle, Birmingham,” the lady said in her melodous accent.

“I lived in Birmingham!” I exclaimed, as the lady’s eyes lit up.  “Alabama!”

We all laughed and the lady touched my arm, saying, “Good one!”


I bought a frozen maragarita and we walked all over Vegas, seeing all of the sights in Vegas.  I’ll post more pics next week, when I’m home.

Corvus picked us up, and we cried, “Pudding!”

He answered, “Jello!”




Zion Adventure


VACATION STARTS TODAY!  Sally, Corvus Tomatillo and I are starting our journey tomorrow.  PUDDING!!

Here’s the agenda:


Sally & I have breakfast with my father, stepmother, and Jack (who is now living with my dad, i.e. his grandfather).  Dad is going to drive us to the airport so that I don’t have to pay $20/day to leave my car at DFW.  Or is it $40?  Anyhow, it really adds up, so I’m grateful to have family that lives nearby.  At those rates, I can buy us all breakfast and still come out ahead!  It helps that Dad likes to eat at IHOP and use his senior citizen discount.  If he preferred the Gaylord Texan, then I might be better off paying for parking.

From DFW, Sally & I will fly to Sin City.  She’s never been, so she’s keen on visiting M&M World.  Her exact words were, “Oh Mommy, can we visit the M&M store?  Please please please mommy I’ve never been.”

Since I’m wrapped about her little finger (a life-long affliction), I answered, “Sure!  Let’s fly in early enough that we can walk The Strip and you can get a feel for Vegas.”  Subsequent planning has shown that Vegas is better at night: more shows, the lights are on, the freaks are out.  Eh, so, Sally will get to see Vegas by daylight; she can come back for her bachelorette party for the night life.  Her bachelorette party in the far, far, distant future.  Now I’m freaking out!

There is a magic show at 1 p.m., but I’m not sure if we can make that and see the sights.  We only have four hours.  But then, a show in Vegas would be pretty cool.  One hotel offers free circus acts from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; we’ll stop by there if we have time.

After four hours of walking the Strip with our luggage (any advice on where we could stash it?), Corvus will pick us up and take us to Zion.  He lives in Tucson, so Vegas is on the way for him (sorta) and only an hour and a half from Zion.  We’ll stop for groceries so that we can do picnic lunches and grab wine—I’m not sure if that’s his plan, but it’s definitely mine!  The corkscrew is already packed!  After all, I’ll be earning the wine by burning all those calories hiking.

We’ll spend Wednesday hiking at Zion, Thursday hiking at Bryce Canyon (a short 1.5 hr drive away), then decide where we want to return on Friday.  Then Saturday, we’ll be coming home.  My sister (Mrs. Cherry) will pick us up from the airport and we’ll have dinner with her & her family.  Strawberries & Cherries at one meal – what a treat!

Can’t wait to share our adventures with you!  There will be a plethora of pics!  And probably more inside jokes – I have a prank planned for Sally, but SHHHH!!! Don’t tell her!


PS Ed, my tenant, will be at the house, so any would-be burglars can forget it.  He’s an armed and dangerous red-headed Texan – don’t even try it!  Seriously, he dresses as the Joker so often, I think he’s becoming the character.  It’s so serious, he won’t date a girl unless she looks like Harley Quinn.

PSS I’m so excited right now, I’m screaming like a 12-year-old girl!  WOOOOT!

Dallas’s Reunion Tower ~ My First Date with Mike (TBT)



Reunion tower, Flickr.com

The Dallas skyline changed slowly around us, rotating at a pace so slowly that it was almost imperceptible.  The city is lit up like a Christmas tree.  This is my first visit to Dallas Reunion Tower, and I am loving it.

I smile at my date, replying to his last comment.  “You didn’t think that I’d go out with you?”

“I didn’t know.  Like I said, you wouldn’t date Mayor Mike, and he’s a lot like me,”Mike says.

Including your name, I think, then try to explain their differences.  “Mike freaked out that I have kids—teenagers, nonetheless—and he wants kids of his own.  Those are two deal breakers.  I’m glad that you don’t want kids.  Gee, I bet that sentence doesn’t get said too often!”  We laugh.

“I was also weirded out that you offered to set me up with one of your Facebook friends,” he says, sipping his wine.  His green-brown eyes twinkle with amusement as he twists his lips into his trademark smirk.

“I said that you could pick out one of my Facebook friends, but she’d probably live out of town.  Ergo, don’t bother.  Besides, you were the one talking about your buddy trying to set you up.  I thought you were fishing for a setup from me, telling me that you wanted me to introduce you to someone else—I had no idea that you liked me,” I reply.

“Really?!  I called you the minute that I got off the plane because I missed you.  And I was only gone for one night!  Why else would I have called you?” Mike says, taking my hand.

“I dunno—to tell me to quit flirting with you?”  I giggle nervously.  “Because that’s what I expected.  I was shocked when you said, ‘You probably don’t want to go with you, but you’re what I’ve been looking for: someone who will let me ramble on about random stuff, someone to sit on the patio with, someone to just hang out.’  Then you handed me that email that you wrote a year ago—it was like, you were telling me that I was your perfect woman.”

Mike answers shyly, “I was pretty nervous.  I didn’t know what to expect after the Facebook conversation.  I was feeling you out, and I almost didn’t say anything after you offered to set me up!  You really threw me off.”

I laugh, and say, “I totally didn’t know where you were going with that.  Besides, we work together, so I figured I’d call it a crush and move on.  I’d flirted with you, and if you weren’t interested, that would have been ok; I would have moved on.  I’m glad that I didn’t have to.  For the record, I really wanted to kiss you right then, but I had fish-taco breath!  If I had known—well—I would have ordered something else.”  I giggle.

He chuckles.  “The fish-breath didn’t stop me,” he admits, “It was the braces.  I’d never kissed a girl with braces before.”

“Well, you have now!” I tease with a sly smile.  “What do you think—is it very odd?”

“It is different,” he admits.

Going back to the previous conversation, I remark, “We had fun on our non-dates.”

“Non-dates?  What do you mean?” He asks with a curious look.

“You know, going to lunch or dinner and hanging out, like we have been for the past three months or so, without dating.  Non-dates,” I say.

He laughs, and says, “Ok, I never heard it put like that.  I would have just said that we were hanging out.”  He chuckles again.

“And even though we hung out all that time, you still didn’t expect me to want to date you?” I say, incredulous.

“No, in fact, I was quite certain that you had a boyfriend, and that you were giving me, ‘I’d never go out with you,’ vibes.  It was mixed signals, actually,” he says, rubbing my fingers with his thumb.

I giggle and say, “I had a boyfriend when we met, so the vibes were appropriate then.  Nothing personal.”

“What about you—what did you think when you first met me?” he counters.

I think for a minute, then say, “I was shocked that you were so young.  I had been hearing that the Great Mike M knew all the answers, and so I expected an old guy.  Seriously, everyone talked about you with such respect that I thought that you must be an older engineer.  Then you walked in, all young and cute—I was shocked.”

He laughs.

I continue, “I developed a huge crush on you, you know—you were like a hot TA (teacher’s assistant) at college.  You walk in with your backpack on, commanding everyone’s respect.  I remember saying, ‘You’re Mike M?!’  You just nodded and said, ‘Yep, that’s me.’”  I laugh somewhat self-consciously.

“I don’t remember that, but ok,” he says.  “I don’t think that I’ve been called a hot TA before!”

“You looked especially cute last January, after you came back from being gone for a month.  I was drawn to you like a bee to honey!” I admit.

He laughs and says, “Ya, that December, I worked out a lot.  Lost some weight.  Now I’m glad I did,” he says, looking at me meaningfully.

I blush and return his gaze.  It is still a little surreal to be here with him, after all the months of working together, after so many day dreams about him.

I change the subject abruptly with, “The kids are leaving.  They’re going to live with their dad.”

He looks shocked.  “Oh?  What happened?  Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, really, it’s for the best.  Sally just kept saying that she was going to move in with her father before high school, and I got tired of hearing it, and told her to pack her bags.  She reminded me that she had another year before high school, but I told her that it hurt my feelings for her to say that she wanted to leave, and I wouldn’t listen to it for another year.  The boy said that he wanted to go, too, so I told him to start packing.”


“I’ve never lived alone before,” I add.  “I went from Mom and Dad’s house to being married to being a single mom.  It’ll be an adjustment, I think.  But it will be good for all of us: the kids will get to know their dad and I’ll have time to myself.”

“Well, there you go, then.”  He says, uncertain of what to say next.  We sit in silence for a little while, gazing out over the city.  He points out a few landmarks to me, then asks, “How do you like your wine?”

“It’s good, thanks.  And I love the view!  I’m so glad that you suggested Reunion Tower for our first official date.”  I smile warmly at him.

“You said that you wanted to see the sites of Dallas.  This is definitely a tourist stop, and you can see lots of Dallas from up here!” he says, pulling me close to put his arm around me.

“Yes, it’s perfect.  In fact, I always thought that this would be a good place for a proposal—you know, part of the Dallas skyline, one could point at it and say, ‘That’s where we got engaged,’” I say.

“Well, there you go, then,” Mike responds, his standard response when he doesn’t really know what to say.

Since I had just made a major faux pas mentioning marriage on the first date, I add, “And it is customary to propose where you had your first date, so this doubly perfect.  Of course, some people propose where they met, but I can’t really imagine you dropping to one knee at work, between cubicles.”

“No, I can’t see myself doing that, either,” he agrees, with an odd look on his face, which made me think that it’s time to change the subject.

“Where’s the waitress?  I could use another glass of wine,” I say.  Really, who mentions marriage on a first date?!

Of course, ten years from now, it’ll be a great first date story.

Still, I am a bit mortified!  I don’t want to chase him off!  “So April 30 is our first official date?” I ask.

Mike knows that I don’t really want an April anniversary; I was married twice in April.  First on the 10th, then on the 13th.  He wisely replies with, “Let’s call it May first.”

Back at his place, we make out on his couch; I pull away.  Technically, this is a first date, and I do not sleep with guys on the first date.

He pushes his bottom lip out in a pretty pout, and pulls me back for more kisses.

Ok, but we’d known each other for two years, and had been good friends for more than three months.  So it isn’t really a first date, was it?

An hour or two later, as I lay against his chest, Mike asks, “Does this mean that you’re my girlfriend?”

I go from completely relaxed and satisfied to tense in under 2 seconds.  I stop breathing.  Exclusive, after one date?  But it wasn’t really a first date, remember?  I panic; I hadn’t expected that question.

He senses my hesitation in the silence and says, “You just got out of a long relationship, maybe it’s too soon?  You probably expected to have the summer to be single and free, especially now that the kids are leaving.”

I mumble something like, “Let me think about it.”  I am thoughtful as a I gather my things and drive myself toward home.

Do I want to be his girlfriend?  Do I want him to be my boyfriend?  I am still getting used to the idea of dating the Great Mike M—even though I had carelessly mentioned marriage, I hadn’t pictured us a BF/GF.  What does that even mean?

  1. Can’t date anyone else.  Ok, so one of my rules was to only date one person at a time, so that works.
  2. If you want to quit seeing the other person, you have to break up. You can’t just quit calling or taking their calls.  Well, since we work together, some explanation would be required anyway, so check this one off.
  3. Expectation of more dates. Ok, so I had a great time, and I’d love to see him again.  Apparently he wants to see me, too.  Golden!

I stop at a red light and text him, “I don’t want to date anyone else and I’d love to go out with you again, so yes, I’ll be your GF.”

“I asked you that question to avoid a drama, so that I wouldn’t have to wonder about our relationship status,” he texts back.

Ha!  He wanted to keep me from over-analyzing.  Good try, better luck next time!

Then he adds, “Great!  See, I told you the date was May 1st.  : – )”

Indeed, the time on the clock is just past midnight.  A new day, month, and relationship had begun.



Reunion Tower, © 2006  Dallas Convention and Tourist Bureau


This Throwback Thursday was brought to you by the Committee to Remember That There are Good Guys in The World, in collaboration with the Committee to Remember That Dating Can Be Fun.





Every post I write is a true story, based on my experiences.  I change names, and may change other insignificant details like places or exact dates; I took more liberties in writing HIMYF than I ever did before, to compress two years of dating into one year, so that it was easier to read (faster paced).

The goal of these posts is mostly to entertain.  But also, I learn something as I’m writing: what I should have noticed or a different way that I could have interpreted the conversation. Hey, if I can learn something and we can share a laugh, let’s do it!  And if it keeps me from being pissed off at some jerk who is downright rude to me, well, I’d MUCH rather laugh 🙂

Tonight, I’ll do a TBT (throwback Thursday) to one of the Mikes and our very romantic, very nerdy first date.  The goal here will be to focus on the good times, and remind myself that sometimes, dates can be amazingly wonderful.  And people can sometimes be amazingly sweet and loving.


The Wedding (ch. 19) and Expecting (ch. 20)


“Why do you get a Best Man, but I don’t get a Best Woman?” I said.  “Dixie is going to be my Best Woman.  After all, she was there for our first real date—not counting bowling—so she ought to be part of the wedding party.”

“Wait, if boot scootin’ was our first date, then does that mean that bowling doesn’t count at all?  Then we didn’t meet on a blind date?” Logan asks playfully.

I sigh.  “We met on a blind date, just like my parents and grandparents,” I clarify.  “But we really didn’t start DATING until months later.  Don’t you think?”

Logan smiles and pulls me close for a kiss.  “Yes, dear,” he says.

“That’s right, you practice saying that,” I say with a smile.

“Is your dad going to walk you down the aisle?” he asks.

“Yes.  I was so nervous when I asked him—this being my second wedding and all—but he said, Whatever makes you happy.  Isn’t that awesome?” I say, smiling wider.  “Oh!  And he’s going to wear his Air Force uniform with all his medals!”

“He’s a good man,” Logan says, kissing me again.

“Stop it!” I say, pushing him away.  “The preacher will be here any minute for the rehearsal.”

“Hey, you’d better be nice to me!  I found Our Song, and I’ll only tell you if you quit abusing me,” he says.

“Oh, tell me tell me tell me!” I say, jumping up and down.  “We’ve only been looking for one for FOREVER!”

“Donna Lewis – I love you, always forever,” Logan says, and kisses me again, before God and everybody.



Dixie was my Best Woman.





Chapter 20 ~ Expecting


“You can only have boys or girls,” Betty Jo tells me.  “I had 3 boys.  My other son has 3 girls.  That’s how it works in our family: you can have one or the other, but not both.”

I laugh.  “My mother had two boys.  Then she told my father, I want a little girl born on my birthday.  Here I am, born just three days after her 30th birthday!”  I rub my pregnant belly.  “Logan and I ordered a little girl, so that our boys would have a little sister.  Mark my words, she is a girl.”

“Have you picked out a name yet?” Betty Jo asks.

“No, I want something that starts with a J, so that we can have Lana and Logan and Jack and Jill?  Not Jill, but something that starts with a J, so that we have the alliteration.  Jasmine is my favorite, because then we can call her Jazzy, but Logan thinks that sounds like a Disney princess.  I want something uncommon; there were always 5 Lana’s in every class at school, I want our little girl to have a more unique name.”

“Sally,” Logan answers.  “I already talked to Lana’s mom and Dixie, and they’re both on board.”

“WHAT?!” I shriek.  “No!  Sally is waaaaay too common a name.  And it doesn’t start with J!”

“What about the middle name?” Betty Jo asks, ignoring me.

“Sally Ann Westmoreland,” he answers.

“Um, no.  If her first name MUST be Sally—and I’m not sure that it will be—then her middle name should be Marie.  Sally Marie Westmoreland just sounds better,” I announce.  “Her initials will be SMW.  That’s an awesome, powerful set of initials.”

“Sally Ann Westmoreland has a nice ring to it,” Betty Jo tells her son.  “I like it.”

“SAW?  Her initials will be a tool?” I ask.

“Like, I saw you standing over there, and you’re beautiful!” Logan answers with a smile.

I huff and fold my arms.  I give him my meanest, We’ll Discuss This Later, look, but he ignores me.

“Hey, Little Girl!  Your parents met in a strip club!” Logan tells her.

“Stop!” I say, and push him.  “Don’t teach her that!”

He laughs and continues, ignoring me, “And your Mom gets very jealous when she sees me with other women.” Sly smile.  “Because she loves me very much.  And I love her, too.”

And we all live happily ever after.



How I Met Your Father” is the fictionalized account of how I met and fell in love with my second husband.  I wrote it to remember what it’s like to be in a good relationship and fall in love; and I wrote it for Jack and Sally, so that they can remember how they are very much loved.  ❤