Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Book(s)

Yesterday I went shopping at our local Goodwill Outlet Store with two of my friends. We've made this a regular weekly occurrence because the shopping experience at this store is addicting. And frightening.
It's addicting because you never know what you might find so the several hours on end spent looking through bins of rubbish (Jason says the Goodwill Outlet is where Goodwill goes to die) could make you a millionaire couple bucks richer. It's frightening because there are rules and people that don't obey the rules. Let me explain.
The workers wheel out about 6 large bins that are heaping full of either clothing items or non clothing items. All clothing related bins are on one side of the store all non-clothing related bins are on the other side, lined up in rows. So. Again, the workers wheel out a row of bins. During this time, shoppers have to line up behind the yellow line and stand and never cross the yellow line until a worker yells "shop". I'm not making this up. If you reach into a bin, cross the yellow line or are trying desperately to peer into a bin to see what's in it, you get yelled at, and the more extreme workers will kick you out. (I personally wish this would happen more often because that leaves more stuff for me). 
When the worker yells "shop" hands go flying into the bins snatching things out at a record pace. I have been stepped on, had things thrown on me, had things snatched out of my hands and had people tell me they would "flip me" for an item that I wanted just to have them take it for themselves. It's crazy business people! But don't you want to go now for the adventure?
You pay by the pound, which is why it's an outlet. After an allotted amount of time, other Goodwill stores have their unsold items sent here, and then what doesn't sell at the outlet goes to recycling. That's why it's so cheap. This Goodwill Outlet however, is also a donation center.This is why you never know what you'll find, some items have not been picked over at another store. 
Jason hates it. 
My first find yesterday was this assembly of Cabbage Patch Dolls.
And when I say assembly, I mean like the Avengers only with less super powers and more pacifiers.
I paid $8.00 total for these dolls. The doll on the bottom right with the jacket and jeans recently sold on ebay for $32.00 and that doll didn't have shoes. I made $45 dollars selling the dolls.
On my way out of the store we came across a large box full of bags that we determined were free for people to use to put all of their items in. That's when we found this:
That's a brand new Thirty-One brand thermal tote that's never been opened. Free! I sold it for $5 because I'm a philanthropist.
My true excitement of the day came when I was scrounging around in a bin of books that no one cared about. I found a small red book that looked old and on the side it said "The Works of Edgar Allen Poe Vol. V". To which I thought "huh, that's interesting" and I held onto it and continued digging. Then I found a few more and my friend Stephanie's dad asked me if he could see one of the books. He took it and did some research while I continued searching through the bin. Once I decided I had turned over every stinking book in the bin, they told me that what I had found was books 4-10 (IV-X to be exact) of the original first edition 1845 Edgar Allen Poe series. 
I put them back in the bin because I decided I didn't want them. 
Just kidding.
I paid $2 total for the books. I sold them on a FaceBook site for $50 because I had no clue what they were worth (clearly more than $50 because I had at least 50 people lined up to purchase them and at least 5 more who sent me a private message asking if they could buy them). But I needed  to make a quick buck because I promised Dawson I would buy him a set of Legos after he returns from Church Camp as an incentive for him to stay. -He hasn't wanted to do a sleepover ever since he had a bad experience at an all nighter back in February. That had the potential of being the longest run-on sentence ever.
*Side note*: I have to wear gloves when I shop at the outlet so that:
1. I don't die from germs
2. I don't die from having my fingers cut off on broken glass that is sometimes protruding in the bottom of the bins.
3. I don't die from OCD because I hate how dirty my hands feel after digging through all the germs. If I ever worked as a cashier at Walmart I'd be the one with the plastic gloves scanning your items.
 Speaking of books.
Jason has a co-worker who recently wrote and released his own book.  His name is Jim Ed Hardaway (he's cool like that with two first names).
Jim's book is titled: It Was That Dang Red-Headed Preacher's Kid! Episodes from My Whimsical Childhood. 
Jason had me order the book and I ordered a signed copy because when Jim is famous I will sell my autographed book on ebay and we'll be able to retire. Unless I forget about the book and it ends up at a Goodwill Outlet and some schmoe finds it and sells it on ebay and makes millions instead of me! (just kidding Jim, I'll sell it don't worry).
He came over to hand deliver our book and sign it in person, which means these photographs of me with Jim are probably worth at least $3.99.  Partially because I'm famous in my own right. My book I Wrote This Book. Is being published this fall.
Here's Jim signing the book. That's me holding up the stickers that came with the book and I forgot to suck in so please disregard that I didn't do my hair, had on clothes that came from a junk yard or suck in for this photo op.
 Then we told Dawson to take our picture with Jason because Jason wanted to be famous too and we wanted Jim to show his smiling face. Makes the picture worth more money.
I'm only halfway through the book and I've got to say, Jim cracks me up. And I know funny. You can order the book here. And then read it and laugh too!
Also, Jim has his own website (that has more info and a link to order his book) that shows off his creative cleverness which is almost better than mine.

Monday, June 13, 2016

11.47: The Steamboat Springs Vacation

Steamboat Springs is a beautiful ski town located in the heart of Colorado. If Colorado had a heart, that's where I'd put Steamboat Springs, is what I'm trying to say. Actually, if any state had a heart that would be weird.
After many discussions between Jason and I and where we'd like to go this summer for a short get away, Steamboat is where we landed. And the more I type "Steamboat" the more odd I think the name sounds. 

For whatever reason I'm really into road trip pictures before we take a road trip. This makes more sense than being into road trip pictures before we fly somewhere, wouldn't you all agree?
That picture even qualified to be my loathsome FaceBook profile photo.
This one had Jason's shoulder giving Evan the shaft. 
This is me being sassy.
I felt bad for Evan but really, it appears he didn't care anyway.
And only 10 minutes after all those pictures I spotted the incline and felt compelled to take a picture of it because it looked so daunting from a car angle and I couldn't believe I ever climbed it.
Then I stopped taking pictures and read a book. That's how I stay smart.
Hey look! A Steamboat Springs sign! We made it!
This is our condo. When I say that, I don't mean we own it.
 There was no bathroom.
Just kidding. That picture is for sale so I'm not posting it here for free boring.
This is the pool/hot tub area, conveniently located just outside our condo's back door.
It has an indoor/outdoor pool facility which also has another hot tub inside. Yes, I use the hot tub in the summer. I think lizards and crocodiles would too if they had access. 
I'm convinced Dawson and Evan would be happy to go anywhere on vacation as long as there's a pool.
This is the little patio at our condo. Me and the boys sang happy birthday to my sister Karen from this patio. Well all except for Evan who was a turd burgler and refused.
See, I wasn't lying about the pool being right outside our back door. I literally could have pole vaulted from the patio into the pool. If I knew how to pole vault.
I'm campaigning to get one of these for my house so that I can use it to wedge into my pants that are too tight. I'm not sure how this apparatus is superior to a bed. I just want one.
Also if you suck in, you can fit two people on it.
I think my favorite part about Steamboat Springs is that it's so green. And green is my favorite color. Not that color of green that I just used for the font though. fyi.
There's a free shuttle available to take you into town. And by shuttle I mean bus. But wouldn't it be way better if it was a space ship shuttle? I should call the Steamboat Chamber of Commerce and clue them in.
On the agenda one of our days was to find good coffee. I thought this coffee shop had good coffee, but I felt the place looked like a science experiment. Jason had to explain that people actually use beakers now to make coffee.
We bought groceries so that we didn't have to eat out every night because we're savvy like that. They wouldn't let us take the shopping cart on the bus though. Jerks. Jason told the boys we should try to hitchhike instead.
This is Evan's newest pose for pictures.
He also sort of looks like a little colonial nerd with his shorts wadded up like that.
We ended the first night with dinner at an Italian place called Mazzola's
And a relaxing time of electronics.
Dawson and Evan had to sleep on a pull out couch. Looks comfortable enough to me.
We spent day 2 at Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
 This is also the day that I managed to get a bad sunburn on my quads and knees (stupid spray sunscreen) and Dawson got burnt on his shoulders. Being burnt on your shoulders way more tolerable than being burnt on your knees in my opinion. Especially if you want to sit in the hot tub.
The water pictured here is actually freezing cold. We speculated that this body of water which was snow melt from the mountains was about 30 degrees. Cold enough to take your breath away if you jumped in, which many people did (including Jason) because it was hot outside and hot in the hot springs and people are crazy. My big toe caught hypothermia when I dipped it.
 This was my attempt at sneaking a picture of the chipmunk who sat under my chair to snack on goldfish crackers the variety of healthy nuts and seeds I was giving him. 
 This hot springs also has a "no children at night" rule due to the fact that they let adults have "clothing optional" time during those hours. I'm just going to say it. There are many people in this world that just need to keep their clothes on. I shudder to think.
 I think this would be so pretty in the winter as well.
 I specifically took this picture because I was enamored by the steam coming from this spring. The last time we visited here, I scalded my toe in this water because I was so curious to know how hot it was. In my defense, there was no "caution tape" around it the last time. 
 A few more scenic pictures and I'll be done holding you hostage at the hot springs.
 We ended this night by eating out on the deck of a little Mexican joint called Salt & Lime.
The 3rd day brought our 11.47 mile hike to the top of Thunderhead Peak. We thought this was a brilliant idea because this was the opening day of the gondola's being back in business and the word on the street was that if you hiked to the top, you would get a free ride down in the gondola.
This is the "we are about do this thing" before shot at the base of the mountain.
Really, we should have known it was a risky venture when the lady in the ski patrol center said "well the trail heads aren't marked yet, because this is the opening day of the trails".
She kindle led us to the opening of the Thunderhead Trail Way path and gave us vague instructions that didn't make us feel like our legs would fall off when we reached the top.
We got to about this point in 10 minutes and were extremely confused.
Jason was determined to use this map he had on his phone but it was completely wrong about our location as well as our surroundings. That doesn't get a man down, now does it. He wouldn't budge from the map. So while he was marching around the area  talking to himself about his map and how it was wrong and didn't make sense, I stopped a guy coming down the mountain to ask him where the trail continued. And he told me, but his directions became confusing.
We got about 15 minutes up the mountain to this juncture and didn't know where to go.
We found a path that turned out to be for frisbee golf
But the view was pretty.
After wondering around aimlessly for a bit we hiked down a hill where I found some workers leaving in a truck and I stopped them to ask them how to get to the trail head. Finally, they told us how to find it. And we did. Eventually. At this point I'll just share an alarming amount of scenic pictures and stop talking til the end. Or until I feel like it.

Oh look! The trail head!
This was me pretending that I wanted to get a cool shot of them farther away when really I was just stinking too tired to keep up.
It was at this point that we were in misery. We had no idea where the top was because we lost site of the gondolas and we were ready to call it quits and go back down the mountain. Thanfully, my phone belted out "6 miles" and I after a small bit of calculating in my head, I realized we only had a 1/2 mile left before we should be at the top. I had to really convince the boys that this was true. But just around this corner was the mountain top! Victory!
That's when we took this after picture:
We found some nice workers in the building who told us that the gondola ride down was in fact free. At 3:00. It was noon. We would have to wait there for 3 hours with nothing to do in order to ride down. I was all for it. Shoot, I would have taken a nap. But Dawson and Jason out voted me and said they would rather hike down so they could get to the pool faster.
So down we hiked. And I took a picture of the gondolas so that my bitterness could be complete.
To keep myself from dying, I decided to take a picture of poop on the path.
We came to a large clearing and decided to take a short cut straight down the ski run.
My quads were on fire.
It was still pretty on the excruciating hike down.
Bonus: Evan found a ski pole and was willing to walk with it as a hiking stick.
The shortcut was worth it I guess. 
Surprisingly I wasn't even sore the following day on our ride home.
And I just ran out of pictures.
So. The End.