Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling...RAWHIDE!

Okay, so we aren't herding cattle, cooking fart-busting beans over an open fire, or crapping in the bush, but the community welcome feeling is all the same as we prepare to host friends and family over the next couple of weeks.

We plan to show them all some small-town, mountain fun and feeding them some home-cooking with Beano available and flatulence probable.

Ruidoso is not exactly a metropolis, so the Western Rawhide theme seems appropriate as it is coupled with the image of the courageous (read masochistic) Dad who's ass and private parts are probably killing him as he rides with his kids!

The much anticipated arrival of the Warrens' tops our list as Mema and Papa are moving into GrandPa's old house during the weekend of March 20Th. Eric, who has kindly volunteered to drive their moving truck from Texas, will be at the helm, while also towing their Camry , while Papa will ride his flank driving his own black 1.5 ton truck. Tucked in both trucks will be Mema's homemade fixin's including fried chicken, snacks, desserts and drinks to tide them over. Doubt anyone will starve, but I can guarantee you, they will be glad they are riding in two separate vehicles for the fresh air! Mema got while the gettin' was good and will be flying to New Mexico instead. Two days on the road with two men and some arthritis that is flaring up sounded like a bad plan. She is no dummy.

Our second welcome wagon rolls when the Ruff family loads into their RV for a week-long stint in a local campground with (get this) three dogs, two kids and anyone else who is crazy enough to hop inside! Now that's a load! While the Ruffs' enjoy a break from Las Cruces life, endeavor to teach their city dogs that a deer's hoof is lethal, and entertain two teens, (imagine Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation), we plan to spend time with them throughout the week doing God knows what, but having some fun. (No Derek you can't dump your tank into our septic system!)

Our third welcome wagon will roll with secret out of state pioneers, which we cannot name, as it is a surprise, April 3, 4, and 5Th. They have not stayed with us before so we are happy they are coming as they will think twice next time! (teasing.)

Knowing the Wagon will be rolling, rolling, rolling, I hit Trader Joe's' of Albuquerque to get wine and beer. (I told you, we aren't roughing it.) We never have enough at our place, but it will give us a start! Of course while at Trader Joes...Gavin asks very seriously, "mommy, where is Joe?" Rolling, rolling RAWHIDE!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Collins'/Hillbilly Cleaning Chaos Continues

Imagine an office, an apartment at the office, and a more than 4000 square foot house full of more than thirty-years worth of belongings...well, if you can picture it, (if you care too), you can begin to grasp the amount of cleaning, donating and discarding we have done since the passing of Eric's Dad, Tim. I am sure Tim has gotten a kick out of watching the family mine through his old stuff. We found that the old saying is true "you can't take it with you when you go, so leave it for your kids!" I must say, we have often looked like the Beverly Hillbilly's as we ramble down the roads with trucks, trailers and SUV's filled with stuff to donate, keep or toss. In Tim's defense, much of the stuff was not his, instead belonged to other family members who had pack-rat skills.

To date, we have had one yard sale, several trips to the dump, dozens of trips to the Thrift store and a remodel at the office. Funny, we have managed to fill the Village dumpsters so many times, we'd stopped counting, but the neighbors had not. They very politely informed us of additional dumpster locations should ours get filled again!

The last two weekends have been spent at the ole Snowcap house and with help from the Jennings' family and all the Collins' family members the house is entirely, yes, entirely empty. All that remains too be worked upon are the attics, garage and carports. We all managed to laugh, have two picnics, get exhausted together and work through the frustration that comes with a monumental effort of this nature. Thankfully, Chris took the lion-share of the furniture as did friends, and strangers who needed it. We all felt really good about the whole process since so many others will benefit. We also found some very precious family heirlooms and can now fill each of our homes with items we cherish. Gary and Geri headed back to Albuquerque last night, with a moving truck of all things good, Chris and Richard headed back to Alamo in Big Red, also filled with all things good. Eric and I landed home with old records, 8-Tracks, the equipment to play them and so many other things he cherished. Now, begins the fun of finding places for it all!

Gavin was very good and had his own on site babysitter-cousin, as Richard played with him all morning so I could work. Gavin had so much fun, he has talked about it all weekend. "I love Little Richard Mommy." He was sweet enough to tell Richard thank you and I love you more than once.

Alas, a very, very exhausting couple of weeks, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and are enjoying all the remodeling that is now underway. We just can't wait for the house to be cared for again and receiving lots of TLC from my Mom and Dad. Also happy to have time to now catch up on neglected projects at our own house! (After a long, much needed break that is...)