Vacation, day 2. Bugs on their deathbeds.

Have you ever tried taking a picture of something far away only to find out that your camera automatically focused in on a closer object?  Apparently my eyes were wired that way this morning.  Brian and I are staying at a quaint bed and breakfast that’s situated on a river in Peoria, Illinois.  Our bedroom has two large windows to offer a gorgeous view of the water.

But I don’t see the water.

What I do see are about 200 bugs (I’ll call them river bugs) that are going to die any minute now.  These are quite large river bugs and they’re pretty much all caught in a spider web death trap outside my window.  I’m not going to lie; the scene is pretty upsetting – the struggling, flapping and twisting to get free.  I have a feeling that I’m going to remember this sick feeling long after I’ve forgotten the name of this place.

Turns out I can still blog! Vacation, Day 1

“There is beauty in simplicity.”  True.  Though I’m still not sure why that’s in my fortune cookie.

Three and a half hours into our drive, Brian and I stopped for a short lunch.  Prior to this, our total combined breakfast consisted of water, coffee, Pepsi and kettle corn pop corn.  It’s not such a terrible thing that my stomach was empty considering that Brian admittedly “drives like a squirrel runs.”

“Beauty in simplicity,” eh?  What ever happened to fortune cookies?  Wouldn’t you like to crack one open today and read, “You’re going to get all green lights,” or “You’ll do well when you get to aisle 5”?  Even if its prediction was wrong, you would’ve been amused for a minute at the thought of it anyhow.  And who puts that much stock in a cookie?  When did the fortune manufacturers wimp out and start printing what can only be described as comment cookies?

And we’re off!

Tomorrow morning Brian and I will set out for our 3rd annual road trip to Cornerstone Music Festival in Bushnell, Illinois.  I sure do love this road trip.  To me, getting there is definitely part of the vacation.  It’s such a treat to get to read, rest, plan, brainstorm about our future, look out the window, etc.  Brian understands how much I need to be the DJ, too; so that helps with the 14 hour drive.

All my homework is finished.  I’ve listened to a snippet online of every single band that will be there and have created an alphabetical word document to organize which bands are worth hearing and which bands can take the backseat.  I’ve never seen anyone else walk around the music festival with their own list of rated bands.  Do no other type A personalities attend these sort of things?

Why I almost wasn’t your hairstylist.

When I got home last night, Brian was very worried about me. I was staring off into space, teary-eyed.

Brian, “Would you like some more to eat?”

Me, “I don’t know.”

All right. Who doesn’t know if they’d like more to eat?  Me. Because I had something else on my mind. Yesterday morning I woke up and wrote a very pleasant blog about why I’m a hairstylist today. A few hours later I was trying to get out of work. You know me; whatever my hand finds to do, I do it with all my might. It’s a work ethic. But what happened in between those few hours was a little incident at the gym. You see, I’m accident prone. Upon putting a dumbbell away, I ended up smashing my finger with it instead – specifically my left ring finger. I tried to shake it off, but the pain just intensified – both a fiery pain and a throbbing pain. Then I took a peek and noticed that I was bleeding under the nail. Just great. Of course my first thought was my work schedule. I had 8 ½ hours booked solid yesterday, 9 hours today and not a minute to spare tomorrow. And these are the last 3 days of work before my vacation. So if I couldn’t make yesterday’s appointments, they’d certainly have to wait almost another 2 weeks.

Why I’m your hairstylist.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a cow girl.  The decision was easy because, you see, I already had the perfect outfit.  Eventually I grew out of said outfit and decided to be a few more things: a teacher, a lawyer, a news anchor and a flight attendant.  But definitely never a missionary (because they’re just crazy).  And definitely never a hairstylist (because I believed that people assumed hairstylists didn’t excel in school, and I was a straight-A student).  Then in my teens I experienced a gradual 180o change of heart.  I was fortunate to travel abroad on several summer mission trips.  These experiences of serving people who lived with less than I did left me aching for more, a life of selfless service.  For a while I resisted this weight on my heart; but when I finally surrendered to it, I went bananas with it.  I remembered what it was like when missionaries would come back on sabbatical and share their stories with the church.  They’d freak us all out with the details of how they had adapted to their new culture: what they ate, what they wore, what they lived without, etc.  These missionaries would use bizarre visual aids to really grip our attention and drive home just how strange life was for them.

The mint incident.

We all have our favorite summer drinks, right? Whether it’s boozed up or non-alcoholic, we just don’t tend to crave the same beverages in the summer as we do in the winter. In the winter I drink loads of hot chocolate, tea and slow cooked hard cider. In the summer, however, it’s nice to keep things on the lighter side.

My chipped-mug friend, Sherri, enjoys a good mojito. She and I are nerds at heart, so one evening we set up the laptop and googled mojitos. We evaluated, cross-checked and compared every way possible to make the number one mojito until we agreed upon a perfect mix. (One of the reasons why it’s a perfect mix is that it eliminates the extra step of making simple syrup.)  Here’s the recipe: