Thank God I’m Not Camping

I bought a coaster years ago that featured one of those creepy Stepford Wife women looking totally blissed out while the thought bubble says Thank God I’m Not Camping.

I regret throwing it out because it is EXACTLY HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW!

I thought for sure I could find an image of it on the interwebs but alas, this is as close at I could get …


Close enough.

I was supposed to go camping this weekend and I was never excited by the prospect of digging in the garage for a tent, cots, sleeping bags, folding chairs, a cooler, mess kits, cooking gear, mosquito coils, a table, water jugs, mats, lanterns, etc., making sure it is all clean and in working order and then shoving it in the car.

AND THEN packing up clothes for me, the boys, Loony, working up a menu for six meals, shopping for them, and prepping them as much as possible before packing them in a cooler and boxes and putting everything in the car.

MEANWHILE arranging for a house-sitter to take care of the dogs, cats, chickens, and training them how to manage the Airbnb and do the turnovers, and answer questions.

AND I CAN’T FORGET to contact my incoming guests and let them know I won’t be here, field all their questions, make sure all the supplies are topped off, and putting my accounts on vacation mode.

And that’s all before I leave. I could go over what it takes to set up a camp, tear down a camp, pack it back into the car, disgorge the gear, clean and put it away, do the wash, blah blah. All with a busted back and shitty sleep.

Aw hell, I’ve practically talked myself into going anyway.


This would have been completely different if I could have brought the Shasta, but Strawberry Hotsprings allows tent camping only. So I did something I would never have done in the past, I bailed.

It was a super fun group of people I was supposed to go with, people I consider family and would do almost anything spend time with, but I had to make a choice to either suck it up and push myself at a time when I am feeling pretty physically on the edge, or honor my gut.

And my gut was saying no.


Of course my friends understood, one of the women even said she was jealous and would bail if she could because you know what?


Which isn’t to say I don’t have fun, I like being in the great outdoors but I work hard enough without taking on vacations where I essentially do everything I do at home but without running water, electricity, lights, and windows and roofs.



Granted, I’ve been going top speed since the boys got back from camp (they had a great time). For one, I got a part-time job. I’m not going to get into it because I would like to exercise a little professional discretion, but in short I’m a personal assistant.

In addition to taking on this new job and not cutting back at all on all the shit I already do, I decided to rearranged the entire second floor.

The way it has been arranged in the past is that Lonny and I are in the master bedroom and the attached bathroom is on my side of the bed. What this amounts to is that anytime anyone needs to go to the bathroom, they walk right by my head, turn on the light in the bathroom (which shines in my face) and usually leaves the lights and fan on.


I often pass out before anyone else so I essentially get woken up at least a dozen times a night, not to mention when I wake up all disoriented because the light has been left on. When the boys were babies I absolutely wanted to be near the bathroom so I could get up to help them if they needed me. I was younger then and also used to not getting any sleep but now I really don’t want to know what is going on in there.


Time changes everything

So a week ago today I was feeling a little fatigued and somewhat at the end of my rope so I sat down with a tape measure and graph paper and started working out rearranging room. It was relaxing. When I am tired and stressed, sometimes making plans refreshes me.


Invert this to be: I am a person who wants to sleep a lot trapped in the body of a person a doe wants to do a lot.

The next day I put out the bat signal that I needed someone to help me move and I attacked the project with a gusto. That was a week ago. I feel like I am almost done. I also had house guests and threw a couple dinner parties that I had agreed to (although one of them I begged Rachel to do everything because I was completely buried and since she only has a three year-old, she had plenty of time … this is sarcasm of course, a mother of a toddler really shouldn’t be whipping together a dinner for my guests, thank you Rachel).

Day one I moved all the furniture and got things put away enough so everyone could get to their beds.

***Devon and Shelley are two of my favorite people. Shelley always communes on a spiritual level with my dogs and her vast knowledge of clothing, sewing, and fabric makes her a person I can connect with in a way not many other people can.

Devon (the tall guy) is the most well-read, most erudite person I know. Our conversations are some of the most robust and stimulating I get to have. Plus, he is the picture of gentility.***

Day two I set up Scratchy in my old room, he gets the big room but he doesn’t have privacy since everyone has to walk through his room to use the bathroom. He’s young, he doesn’t mind. I wanted him to feel like he could make some decisions so we worked together to place furniture, went through all his clothes, books, and toys to decide what to keep, what to get rid of, and where to put it. It took forever.


Times 10

Naturally the animals were SUPER HELPFUL and on more than one occasion I found myself yelling at the top of my lungs, “COULD WE GET SOME MORE ANIMALS UNDERFOOT IN HERE?!”


Extremely helpful

Day three I set up Itchy’s room which is the smallest of the three but the most private. He has always wanted a papasan chair and finding room for something that size took some creative organization, but we made it work. Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 5.44.20 PM.png

There was no way I was going to buy one of those new so I had to do some Craigslist mining to find one and drove to Longmont to get it.

Day four I went through my room and all my stuff and it was a deep dive the likes of which I haven’t done since the early days of my Process of Elimination. Between the kids’ stuff and my stuff, I purged boxes and boxes of clothes, books, knick knacks and toys.

Days 5, 6 & 7 have been me moving things around, hanging art, and creating a space that feels like a private zone rather than a public area. Mostly I do it in between my job duties, kid duties, house duties, etc., but it’s getting done and it feels amazing in there.

Sideboob said it best when she took a tour yesterday, “There’s no through traffic!”


There an added benefit of moving, Minx has started sleeping with us and last night I achieved the holy grail of animal hoarding …

FIVE OUT OF FIVE PETS IN BED! I can just imagine my neighbor shuddering at the thought. It annoys her that her kids’ dog sleeps in her bed and not theirs. I need my personal space, but not when it comes to animals in my bed.

I also found some really beautiful pictures from my youth. I looked at them with wistfulness for the body and skin and hair I used to have, but not so much that I would trade places with that younger version of myself.


Photo Credit Jenny Lentz circa 1989


Photo Credit Elizabeth Lee Cantrell

My dad (HI DAD!) sent me this picture he took of himself riding his beloved Ducati Supersport back during Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats back when we could camp on the salt and wander the pits without credentials.

He’s the biggest freak I know.


Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 6.24.28 PM.png

I cannot wait to visit the Queen of Sexy again in LA. I’m going to try to go for my birthday. An evening basking in sweet, sweet boobies (with consent, always with consent) at Jumbos and then sweating the hangover off at WiSpa in Korea Town is just what I need. I miss my freaky, sexy, powerful, ladies.


Jesus, are you still reading?

Okay, for the main event.

Yesterday I took Scheissehund out for his morning constitutional and I noticed that his butthole was a little swollen on one side. Given that he is 90% anus, I notice these things. I took Chief for his morning walk around Coot Lake and came home to find it looking even worse.

I know an impacted anal gland when I see one (oh the pleasures of animal husbandry) and I gave “expressing” it a go. Of course he screamed bloody murder so I thought I should take him to the vet incase I misdiagnosed it and was squeezing a cancerous tumor.


Vet tech is clearly stoked about his job

Sure enough, it was a clogged anal gland and for those of you who haven’t read All Creatures Great and Small like I have, you might not know what clogged doggy anal glands are. But I’m here to tell you that they are a thing, especially with small dogs.


I guess there is a TV series based on the books, which are simply delightful; Tricky Woo’s impacted anal glands not withstanding, of course.

After the whole neuticles experience, my vet wasn’t too surprised when I asked to watch the procedure. Mostly because I want to see it done (I learned how to do Blue’s, which is a whole other experience I must say) so I know what Scheissehund’s pain tolerance is, how hard and where to squeeze, etc. But also because I have an attraction to disgusting things.

Grossed out yet? I haven’t even gotten started.

I will spare you the gruesome details but let’s just say it was fucking gross. When I pulled out my phone BEFORE THE PROCEDURE my vet said, “You aren’t going to video this are you?!?”

Um … no? (puts away phone)

But I had to share the experience with a couple friends who have the same affinity for wound care videos as I do. Cue a near disaster that circles back to me being gainfully employed.


So now we are caught up. Aren’t you glad you stuck around?

School starts in a couple weeks. I want to take the boys camping (IN THE SHASTA!) and do a few things that don’t involve destroying my back and life. I probably should fit climbing a 14er in (that would be a 14,000 foot peak) and throwing out some more shit before things get super crazy.


Gratuitous photo of Loony with his shirt off

I also need to see My Parasitic Twin. I haven’t seen her all summer, and that’s not hyperbole. I miss the shit out of her and really could use a morning of drinking coffee and screaming in each other’s faces.


Check out this incredible avocado! Look how small the pit is!

9 thoughts on “Thank God I’m Not Camping

  1. I love reading about your life. My sister Cj loves really disgusting things too. You have motivated to get rid of more stuff…I have a box that I am off to fill. I have already gotten rid of about 8 boxes. But I am more like your hubby than you. My only vices are thrift stores and garage sales! Just got back from CA visiting mom and sisters. Mom’s house not only has nothing on the floor(trip hazard)but it is very clean and organized.

    • Tabby is moving soon and got a construction dumpster delivered to her house (she calls it a “skip”) and filled it up. She had such a good time doing it that she says she wants one for her birthday every year. I kind of love that idea, having that feeling of renewal built into each birthday, starting anew. Maybe I’ll adopt the tradition and schedule the 1st week of November for moving aside all the furniture and vacuuming behind it (I recently did it, ew!) and getting rid of clothes and detritus from the previous year.

      I think I’d like CJ. We people who are into gross things are a class unto ourselves. You should see the disgusting crap Pamcakes and Anne Marie send to each other. I want in on that.

  2. so…. somebody hates camping now. i can’t even handle it with a 75 foot long fucking camper. amazing development over there. also, yes, coffee. my family has been gone all week, and rather than do ANYTHING, like i thought i would do (at least a modicum of action?) i have considered this what the folks in hollywood do – i have checked myself into the “hospital” or “luxury” rehab facility for “exhaustion,” and the doctor (me) prescribed nothing but ridiculous frozen food and chick flicks. i haven’t been alone since 1982 (you know, since i’m 78 or something). this is fucking fab. glad you bailed on your adventure. welcome to the club. of course, you kept yourself busy as hell. my haus is clean, but i’m not rearranging anything. i also like how you toss the word “butthole” into this post willy-nilly. made me laugh. ok. coffee soon. school IS starting soon, and i won’t be stuck in my strange malaise of mourning over my kids growing up. i’m accepting it… i’ve attached a link to the facilities at my house for those suffering from exhaustion or too many bottles of CHÂTEAU D’YQUEM.

    • I hate tent camping, TENT CAMPING! I still claim fortitudinal and constitutional superiority over you. I am definitely suffering from exhaustion and should be institutionalized tout de suite.

      And OF COURSE your house is clean, you don’t have anyone around to fuck it up!

      I believe butthole is a medical term and should be used whenever possible to describe the poop-shoot (or is it chute) region of the dog or anything.

      Coffee soon, when those kids are at school probably. I like how we can go forever without seeing each other (which is in a different category than people who live in different states, we just live a few block) and it isn’t weird. It’s just you being you and me being busy AF.

  3. I feel this so hard, well at least the part about not camping and The Onion bit. We just went to Grand Lake for four days and stayed in a two bedroom cabin — everyone had their own space — and I just kept thinking, “Thank god I’m not camping.” Not camping is the best.

    • Not camping really is the best. That’s not say not being in nature is a good thing, it’s not (so many double negatives) but doing it with a few creature comforts in place (especially when you are the one responsible for providing the creature comforts) is the best. Camping is so hard for the person who is doing all the heavy lifting, usually moms, the least we can have is running water, a roof and a real bed.

    • Oh! And to make matters even better (as far as not feeling guilty about bailing) it turns out that what was supposed to be a 3 hour drive to Strawberry was a SIX HOUR DRIVE.

      EACH WAY!!!!

      There is construction on Rabbit Ears Pass so they were down to one lane. Oh god, I am so glad I didn’t go.

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