Saturday, December 13, 2014

To My Mom: Part II the road trip edition

My brother and I in 1985, somewhere in California waiting for our "driver"
My mom LOVED road trips. And I'm not kidding at all. It was in her blood. She would get itchy. There was a need to get out on the road. To get out of the house. Away from the familiar.

To have an adventure.

Perhaps this is in my head because my father just wrote about their (my mom and dad's) last epic road trip which was her road trip with cancer. You made me cry dad, that was quite the epic adventurous road trip.

Along the lines of what I wrote in Part I, I also inherited that gene. I LOVE road trips. I need them. I itch. I crave. And I need one, RIGHT NOW. It's in the works, (a small one). It better be in the works, you know who you are, boo!

But Mom's road trips were epic. I'm glad I was included in some of them. Not like I had any choice in the matter. I, along with my brother, would be pulled out of school for weeks at a time, and we'd get in the car, and off we went.

Dad wasn't on these trips. Dad would take us camping every summer, and mom would take us on epic road trips. Perhaps I'm using epic too much, but they were epic. Especially to an 8-year old, who got to leave school a month early.

There were lots of road trips. Mom and dad would pile all three of us kids in the back of a car with sleeping bags in the wee hours of the morning and we'd wake up in Nevada on our almost yearly summer trip to Wyoming. But there are two trips that I remember quite well.
My brother and I at Mt. Shasta
She took us north in 1985. I got to see snow for the first time.

already an archaeologist at age 7
I saw Crater Lake.
She stopped, and I got to scoop up ash from Mt. Saint Helens along the side of the highway. I rowed in a boat for the first time (that I actually remember) in Oregon.
I also met mean sheep at Aunt Babe's house in Washington.

She took us east in 1989. She drove us south through California, through Arizona, (we did stop at the Grand Canyon, brother, I found pictures to prove it) New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma to Arkansas. To Grandpa Perk's Ranch (her father).
I met cousins, aunts, uncles, 2nd, 3rd, 4th cousins and I don't know how you're related but you are.
I'm related to them somehow
Learned a new game of cow pucky fights via 4-wheelers. Mom would have to hose us down in the yard. From Arkansas she took us north. Through Missouri and Iowa to Minnesota to a Larsen family reunion. Where I got to float down a river in an innertube and watch my brother and other cousins pee on Wisconsin.
Watch my grandparents dance. See June bugs. Oh and see my dad after a month or so.
hanging out with Cousin Dawn
can you tell we are Pepsi fans?
She then decided that after the reunion that we should take a detour... around Lake Superior before driving back down. "It won't take that long", she said.
Oh Canada!
Canada is cold
Well, we can tell you, they don't call it Lake Superior for it being so small. I got to spend my first night in a foreign country, by the name of Canada that trip. I saw Canadian money for the first time and drank a Canadian coke. And for the first time on this long trip, I got my own hotel bed. I didn't sleep with my mom that night. We saw Lake Superior, from all sides. It's a big lake. Somehow we ended up in Ohio. Where family friends were and their twin daughters put my hair in such tight pig-tales that I got a headache.
But I also saw fireflies for the first time.

From Ohio, she drove us back south to Grandpa Perk's in Arkansas for a bit, and then northwest to Wyoming to the Larsen stronghold in Cheyenne, then finally back home to California.

So now maybe you can see why I call her road trips epic. Especially to a kid. She did all the driving. There are a lot of stories we could tell. My brother has quite a few regarding our Grandpa Perk, for sure. But they are his to tell.

But mom was game for anything. "I wonder what it's like to drive on the salt flats", she'd say. So she'd take the car onto the flats in Utah. "I wonder what it's like to hit a road construction cone", she'd say. So she ran one over in Nevada... and dragged it under the car for a mile. "I wonder what it's like to hit a bird" she never said, but it happened anyway. And part of the bird was stuck on the front grill, and other parts of it were on the back.

It was a lot of miles in the car with mom. We'd listen to tapes. The Carpenters, Beach Boys, and The Nylons were ones I remember. We'd wear the tapes out till they started to warp. And we'd sing the miles away. I'm sure there were boring parts (Nevada and Oklahoma ring a bell) but I don't remember being bored in the car with mom and my brother.

She was truly happy on the road. There was a mischievousness to her and a true sense of adventure. We could go anywhere we wanted, and we did.

When I was a practicing archaeologist, this need of road tripping was satiated. I was traveling. I was on the road. Some places were not so fun, but others were great. I saw things and places that I'd never seen before. I got to explore the Sierra Mountains, Eastern California (Lone Pine), the Mohave Dessert, etc. Now that I'm not a traveling shovel bum, the need isn't being met regularly.

Mom had an epic road trip planned. She and dad were going to leave for it 3 days after she got her cancer diagnosis. They never got to do it. Instead she went on her final epic road trip of doctor's appointments, chemo and radiation treatments, and surgeries. No one thought it would be her last road trip. It shouldn't have been. But she was a trooper. She was adventurous. She was mischievous. She made the most of her last road trip.

It was epic.

I am determined to continue the tradition. For her, in memory, and for myself. Because it is in me. The need. The itch. I have to go. Somewhere. The force is strong in this padowan.

Adventure awaits.

I'll see you on the road, mom. I'll belt out the harmony to your melody.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

To My Mom: Part I

I've been avoiding this blog like ebola. But it is time. I got the headphones on. Music is playing. No more excuses. So without further ado, here is the first of probably many posts about my mom.

Here she is at age 18, a freshman at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa Idaho.

After my mom's memorial service, people commented on how much I really look like her.  I always knew I took after my mom, more so than my father. But then all these people kept saying, "Wow, you look so much like her, I never realized". Well, neither did I. I do now.

I have her hair, widows peak included. Freckles, nose, smile, eyes (except in color - I got the recessive gene from both parents to turn mine green), body type, height, and hands. Internal things as well, but we won't go into that. I always knew I took after her especially after puberty. That's when you really start to notice things.
Mom and I (age 3) at Grandma and Grandpa Larsen's, Wyoming.

During those fun times of puberty and after in high school and later in my 20's, I did not like that I took after her. And not just in looks and appearance. I was never comfortable with my looks, or my body. I didn't like that I have a widows peak, or a round face, and short stature, or that weight is always an issue of loosing. I hated it. I was so self conscious, that I was too scared to even talk to a guy that I liked. I never "dated", didn't have boyfriends. One in college, but we won't talk about that here, not important to the story.

My mom and I (age 18) at her dad's (Grandpa Perk's) ranch, Arkansas.
I think I even resented her for it. I was adamant not to ever have children, because I didn't want to pass on what I had inherited from her. How bad is that? I wanted to be more like my sister. She was tall, and slender, had a more outgoing personality. I thought she was pretty (she still is, by the way). She took after my dad. She looked like my dad's sisters, my Aunts.

I'm in my mid 30's now and still working through many of these things. But I am so proud, grateful, lucky, and did I say stinking proud to be carrying my mom in me. In my face, smile, eyes, humor, in every way possible. Especially now that she is gone. And I am so thankful that I realized this before she left us. I may not have told her this specifically, but I think she saw this change in me. The change from hate to acceptance to pride and love.

Thanks mom.

 She was beautiful, inside and out.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Letting out the silent killer

me in 1999
I'm listening to Muse with the big headphones because I took my ipod to work so that I could listen to music during my lunch break, because I needed to drown the brain. I chose a playlist, and hit shuffle. The last song was Muse's Follow Me from their 2nd Law album. And then hit replay. There is nothing special about that song... I think*. But then tonight after work, I wanted, or more to the point, needed to listen to music. So again, I chose Muse.

I needed to shut my brain up for many reasons. Most recently due to the death of Robin Williams. Some famous deaths aren't all that shocking (Heath Ledger, Kurt Cobain) or unexpected (Amy Winehouse). But his was. It's just sad. I haven't been on Twitter since I heard because I just don't want to see it all. His death, of course, brings up the discussion of depression and how debilitating of a disease it can be. I've written about my depression a bit here on the blog, but I've never truly discussed it at any great length. Maybe I should.

Depression runs in my family, as I'm sure in most. Both of my parents suffer varying degrees. One uses medication. But both of them and myself included, don't suffer from say... "deep depression" or get to the point where the thought of suicide would help. I have fallen pretty deep before, but I can only stay holed up for so long before I force myself out. I have always pulled myself out of a "funk" sometimes it's as "easy" as going outside and soaking up the sun. (easy is in quotes because it is NOT easy.)

I've found that since I have started running, more than two years ago now, I don't get into those deep, long bouts as much or for as long anymore. I mentioned to a friend just this past week, that I now use running as an escape. I run so that I don't have to think about how crappy life is that day, or week, or what-have-you for 30-40 minutes. I run to quiet the brain. And by running I get outside into the sun for at least 30 minutes a day, and exercise also gets the metabolism going and endorphins flowing which is critical for depression sufferers.

So thank you running. With out it, I'm not sure how well off mentally I would be right now. Everyone suffers things silently. I have quite a list going right now in my life, much of which I don't share publicly, (as in this blog) but I think, no, I know for a fact that I am handling it better than I would if I wasn't running my ass off 4-5 days a week.

Of course there are days I don't want to get out there. Almost all the time. But I put the "outfit" on and lace the shoes, and get out the door. Once I'm out the door, it's easy. It's getting out the door that is difficult. I always know how to break out of, or more like climb out of a bout of depression, it's the actual doing of it that is difficult. So it is always very hard to hear when someone doesn't make it out. It is an ever constant disease. It never truly goes away. It lays there in wait, unsuspecting. I don't realize I'm slipping til I'm full in it, and I realize I'm mad and emotional about everyone and everything, and tired and sleeping the days away.

I've been on the brink of tears when reading or watching something about Robin Williams. Other famous deaths haven't done that to me before. Whatever it is about him, his life and death has affected me.

So, guess what I'm doing tomorrow after breakfast and checking how many people read this... That's right, strapping these puppies on and getting OUT THE DOOR!
These are my very first pair of actual running shoes. I like them!
*It definitely has meaning. Here are the lyrics: Give a listen here:
When darkness falls
And surrounds you.
When you fall down,
When you're scared
And you're lost. Be brave,
I'm coming to hold you now.
When all your strength has gone
And you feel wrong,
Like your life has slipped away.
Follow me.
You can follow me
And I, I will not desert you now.
When your fire's died out,
No one's there,
They have left you for dead.
Follow me.
You can follow me.
I will keep you safe,
Follow me.
You can follow me,
I will protect you.
I won't let them hurt, hurt you, no.
Ooh yeah.
When your heart is breaking.
You can follow me.
You can follow me.
I will always keep you safe,
Follow me,
You can trust in me.
I will always protect you, my love.
Feel my love
Feel my love.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Picture Number 7

The Not So Random Photo Project: #7
Dusk at Shaver Lake, California. December 2006

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Stay-cation: Day 5

Today was awesome. I am sore. But that's a good thing. Sort of. Today I had my breakfast and coffee. Nephew pulled through and we now have MILK! YEAH! I went running. Only did 2.3 miles, but Mr. Creepy said I did my fastest mile. It's interesting that when I feel like I am not going particularly fast and just plugging along, I have a faster pace than when I am consciously trying to go a bit faster. Whatever.

I got on the internet and played. Was going to watch "Futbol", but the U.S. game was already over. Oops. I sat outside in the sun for a bit and soaked up some rays, made more freckles, then got to work sanding the rest of the beams for the pergola. I don't think you know how big it really is so here is proof.
 The big beam in front I did yesterday. The four in the back are halfway sanded at the point of this picture. I had to take a few breaks from sanding for my hands/wrists. I didn't want my carpel tunnel to flare up. That bastard!

And then it was time to paint. And paint. And paint some more. I painted till I ran out of paint... which was here.
So will have to go to Home Depot tomorrow. Oh darn. Heh heh, I love that store. Sis came home and watched me paint, and we both vented to her best friend who came by to hang out with us. Made her feel better. We then traveled the very far distance to my parents house. And by far I mean 1.5 miles. And we ate really bad food (Taco Bell) and played cards. I didn't win, but came in second. So I improved my standing.

With all I did today, I should sleep pretty good tonight. Tomorrow will be interesting. We will be putting the pergola back together. Hopefully with my dad as supervisor, no one will have to go to the hospital. Also tomorrow is my last day of the stay-cation. It went by too fast. I feel like I need 3 more days. Oh well. I have more vacation hours, I can cash them in later. Take another week off later this summer perhaps.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Stay-cation: Day 3 & 4

I didn't really do anything on Day 3. So it didn't really warrant it's own post. However, I did realize two things yesterday.

1: I can't do nothing on a stay-cation. I can't just sit in my room all day on my computer or watching t.v. I get too bored and frustrated and kinda pissy. So I decided that I had to get out of the house for the rest of the week. The back yard would do fine. I just have to do something. Anything.

2: While on my walk on Day 3, (I didn't go running) I decided to walk up the hill. If I walk all the way to the top where my street dead ends and back down, it is about 3 miles. And by up the hill, I mean UP THE HILL. People drive to this street just to walk/run/bike this hill. I thought that maybe I should actually try and run it sometime... I also decided that today (Day 4) was not that day. But I digress. I've known before, and it sunk in that if I had the money (1 to 2 million dollars) to afford to live on top of the hill, I wouldn't want to. Sure they are practically castles, but all they are are huge homes with little to no yard space with a view. I don't want a pink palace (there is a pink palace up there, I'm not making this up). I wouldn't fit in there. My priorities aren't palace with a view, luxury car, and hired help. There isn't anything wrong with that, it just isn't me. I don't need all that house space, or a luxury car or a Mercedes SUV. I'm a simple girl. It just doesn't seem practical to me. Just walking up there, I feel out of place.

So anyway, that was Day 3. Today, I got out of the house. I went to my local coffee shop for breakfast, since we are out of milk. But don't worry, I have... faith???? that the $4.00 I gave to the nephew who works at the grocery store, will come home with said milk after his shift. Faith, you gotta have faith, faith faith...

I ran another 3 miles today. No records or milestones, so no creepy Tiger Woods. I sat out in the back yard for a bit. And then I got to work sanding and painting the large beam for our large pergola that we took down when we got our new roof. It's been in pieces on our patio for months now. I want my patio back. Unfortunately, both dogs now have white paint on them. It's they're own fault. They aren't the brightest of their species.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Stay-cation: Day 2

It's okay that I really didn't do much today, right? It is a vacation after all.

I slept til 11:00 am. Awoke to a nephew taking a shower while playing very loud music. I put in my earplugs... I still heard it.

Made coffee.

Ate breakfast and drank coffee and played on the internet.

Went running. This isn't a vacation from exercise, must maintain the wondrously formed muffin top. I did 3 miles today. The creepy Tiger Woods told me I had logged my fastest mile on my ipod. yay

I sat out in the backyard and watched the bees. And a wasp. Will have to find that nest.

Decided to watch the Mexico World Cup game, but it wasn't on. :(

So decided to go to Wallgreens for toothpaste and shampoo. The person who I thought was taking a nap in their car all day in the shade of our trees was actually out of gas. I saw her putting gas in her car. She then asked for a jump, so I did my "good deed" of the day and gave her a jump... and then went to Wallgreens.

I watched a movie.

Then I watched the latest episode of my favorite "guilty pleasure", the CW's Beauty and the Beast.

So not much today, but still a good one, I think.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Stay-cation: Day 1

Today was the first full day of my week long "stay-cation". I decided I needed a break from work since it was starting to get to me. I get vacation hours, so why not use them.

So, today I slept in to 12:30pm, and was woken up by my mom calling to see if I was FINALLY available for "Sunday Dinner". The answer, FINALLY was yes!

Got up, made bed, washed face, got dressed, told sister that mom and dad were on there way over to pick us up for "Sunday Dinner".

We went to Applebee's. I had a steak.

I watched the Wold Cup game between the U.S. and Portugal. Oh My God, what an awesome and heart pounding game! Just wow.

During said game I cleaned my bathroom. It was gross. Since the cleaning, a nephew washed the dogs in the tub and now it smells like wet dog in there and there is dog hair clogging the drain. Such is life.

I also cleaned out my closet of clothes I never wear or will never fit in again. Sad that I have come to the realization that I won't be "that thin" again, but again, such is life.

Surfed the internet for awhile, then mom texted and said to come on over for cards.

We sat out in mom and dads backyard for a bit and I pet my cat and brushed my cat and was told that my cat is now "out on the prowl" at night and does not come home till morning. Good thing that boy is fixed and chipped.

We played cards. I lost. We ate grilled cheese sandwiches and Cambell's soup. We talked, we laughed, we googled. (we think we found the Laotian refugee family my parents took in back when I was probably 3 years old.)

All in all, a good start to the "stay-cation". I will win for sure next time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

By God, it's a fountain!

Long long ago (back in 2009, the year I went mental and other things happened) in the far distant smelly tar lands (Taft, California) *shutters* some of my crew members came across something that they thought I would like. At the time I was telling them of the adventures I was having fixing my house and landscaping my backyard. I was collecting rocks for a pond that my sister was constructing while I was out doing field work. Now there aren't many rocks in Taft. There's a lot of sand, and sticky stinky sand, but not a lot of rocks... that I'd be willing to display anyway in my glorious and wondrous backyard. HA! I did procure a coyote skull and a sheep skull however, and several other crew members took home some animal bones as well. We had a lovely cat skull sitting on the dashboard for a few weeks. It was adorable until you looked in its dead empty eye sockets and your soul turned black with despair.

Anyway, I'm getting distracted. At the end of the day when we would all meet up again, they said, "hey, we found something you may want". So off we went to find the GPS coordinate they logged. Low and behold they had found a stash of transmission tower ceramic insulators. These weren't your cute aqua glass insulators that people spend $50 bucks a pop at overpriced antique stores. No sir. This was an intact 40-50 pound ceramic insulator. And I thought it was beautiful. I thanked the crew members who found it and thought of me. We heaved it into the back of the SUV, and off we tootled. My first thought was to get it home and turn it into a fountain.

Well it made it home and sat in my backyard for years. It was a stand for tomato plants for a few years. It also held strawberry plants when we rebuilt the main vegetable garden beds. But finally after years of neglect and wishing it was still hanging off a steel transmission line in the dessert, it has become a fountain!

One of my nephews drilled the hole needed to run the rubber tube, and my sister one day took our old pond apart (we never took the time to maintain it) and replaced said pond (mosquito breeding ground) with our new fountain. TA DA!!
isn't it just the cutest thing ever?

and it works!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Trees Trees Trees: Part 3

So um, I still have 12 sticks in 12 pots, but miraculously 9 of them now have leaves!
 All 3 Goldenraintrees!
 The lonely White Flowering Dogwood (1 of 4)
 All 3 Eastern Redbuds!
And both Crapemyrtles!

I love the leaves on the Eastern Redbuds and the Goldenraintrees.

All of these lovelies will grow big and strong and in a short few 20 years, they will look like this:
A full grown Eastern Redbud

White Flowering Dogwood

Now, as I said before here: Most are up for grabs. I am willing to part with both Crapemyrtles only because I already have one in my backyard and three in my front yard. The City of Gilroy obviously LOVES Crapemyrtles! I'm not complaining, they are beautiful trees, and they bloom in the summer, not spring. Two of the Eastern Redbuds, and two of the Goldenraintrees are also up for grabs. Since only one white flowering dogwood took root, I'm keeping him.

So these little sticks with leaves are ready for their forever homes. However, I think they should stay in their pots for a bit longer. But then again, I don't know anything really about keeping trees alive, especially baby ones.

So far only one has been truly spoken for. My mom has laid claim to one of the Crapemyrtles. Whether she remembers sending me that email or not.

If anyone wants one, please let me know and we can arrange their pick-up/delivery. I'm serious! I cannot plant all of these in my yards. Well, I could but then mowing would be like a mowing/edging obstacle course.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Picture Number 6.....ish

Bill Wyoming 2005, the "road" to the Federer Homestead
My Grandmother knows exactly where it is. Left when she was only 13
What remains of the Homestead, 2005

What remains on the Homestead, 2005

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Picture Number 5

It's time for another Not So Random Photo:

Mono Lake, California, Eastern side of the Sierra Mountains and east of Yosemite National Park, taken in 2006.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This is the serious post... Don't panic.

Feeling very unacomplished lately. I need to get my ass in gear and figure out what I really want. What I really want to do with my life and what I really want to do as a job/career/ need to make more money than I am now.

Being back in a food/drink service job getting minimum wage makes me really yearn for the days when I was an extremely underpaid archaeologist. I was living just above paycheck to paycheck because I was able to save up for big things like plane tickets and DVD's and was able to pay for my car getting serviced and not having to put it on a credit card and taking 6 months to pay off $200 dollars.

Now I am living paycheck to paycheck and bleeding. I say bleeding because it isn't working. I don't make enough to sustain myself, and that makes me sad and angry and feel real bad about myself. I am in my 30's, I have two college degrees, I'm single so I don't have to sustain anyone but myself and I'm not doing it. My savings is just about empty. One major thing like my car breaking down, or a root canal or something like that, and I will be in the red, like I can't pay my mortgage red. I am only able to pay my portion of the mortgage every month just barely. I don't pay for the cable or utilities or even food. So really, I am not making it.

Things need to change, and they need to change soon. Nephew #2 is graduating in June and sis will want to move within the next year or so. And then what? Move back to mommy and daddy's? I hope not.

I'm the one who put myself in this situation, and I need to pull my head out of the sand and start moving and facing the problems I've been avoiding and start making things happen. The coffee shop job I have now was only suppose to be temporary. It was to be temporary stability, so I could work toward the shop dream. I only wanted to stay there 6 months to a year tops. It has been 8 months now.

I want to open my own little shop. I want to live in a little house with lots of land. I want a riding lawn mower and cats and finally live by myself. I want to be financially secure so I can fix my cars windshield and all the little things I've let slide or go because I can't afford them.

So how does one do this? How do I get moving and make forward progress?

Baby steps and with help. I admit that now. I've talked and hopefully planted a seed in one of you. And after 3 months of being a slouch, I'm finally running again. So yeah, baby steps and help.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Glamorous Life

So instead of writing about what I set out to today, I'm going to talk about bodily fluids again. Oh joy! One of my more so called "popular" posts was about a time when I had a most unpleasant experience in the middle of a desolate landscape surrounded by my "minions". You can read it all over again here, if you really want to.

Back when I was an archaeologist and was playing out in the world, I had to "used the facilities" in various states of actual facilities. Some times you're close enough to an actual flush toilet that is stocked with actual toilet paper and a sink with soap and stuff. But usually... that's not the case. As a side note, I know where all of the bathrooms are at the Monterey Presidio just in case you ever need to know. You learn early on in your archaeology career when it is safe to use a port-o-potty. If you are working with a construction crew who carts their "john" around with them... don't even open the door, just don't. It is also safer to just walk around to the back of one and go elsewhere when it hasn't been sucked out in so long that the mound is now actually visible without having to look down the hole.

You also learn early on to carry TP or something to wipe and dispose of with you at all times. (it would have been nice to be told this in field school) This is especially true for the females. When you don't have time to air dry. You all know what I'm talking about. Peeing as a female is such a freakin ordeal that many of us are masters of holding it all day. Bladders of steel, yo!

The point of all this was really to say that there is a level of trust one needs to have with their fellow crew members/humans or your poor bowels or bladder will explode. When you are in the middle of a plowed field with not a shrub, tree, or even a weed in sight for miles and you have to go, you trust your crew mates to turn around, walk away, and wait till you're done, before continuing the job at hand. Those of you who were on the Maricopa Solar project know what I'm talking about. I'm at a point now in my life that I am (I wouldn't say comfortable) but comfortable enough to "go" just about anywhere and around just about anyone. So thanks, archaeology for teaching me how to poop and pee in public.

Also, I thought about this while sitting on my awesome flushing goddess of a toilet in my house. You're welcome.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Aw Family

So over the holidays, my entire immediate family (ie my siblings and their families) gathered at my parents house. On one of the days my mom had her best friend take some family photos. Because mom wanted family photos, and we always do what mom says. I helped my mom post some of her favorites on her Facebook page.

My CBF (Childhood Best Friend) commented on this one saying that the picture is great, just not how she remembers us.
Cropped sis out for reasons, not because I don't like her

She should know, she spent a lot of time at our house growing up. And it's true, we were being nice and civil and sort of serious... mostly because we wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. We had other things to do, like eat and whoop each other at cards... and eat. Did I mention eating?

Now CBF has a point, back in the day this is how she posed for a picture my mom took:

Awww, isn't she just the sweetest

And this is how my brother and I posed:
I'm sure we made mom proud that day

Just for you, CBF. I will try harder next time to be not so serious and be my more silly self.