Category Archives: Motor Home Stuff

Mama’s Night Before Christmas

A lot of folks don’t realize this, but the house has to be a certain way before Santa will slip down the chimney and leave his gifts.  I mean, no one has spoken to Santa about this, but mommies everywhere just kind of assume.  So, we usually are up a little late on Christmas Eve making sure that everything is all set the way Santa would like it.  This includes a clean tree area, stockings hung properly, shelves cleaned, and some wrapping paper made available in case he needs to wrap anything while he’s there (that’s why Santa’s wrap sometimes matches what mommy and daddy have.)  Anyhow, it’s a lot of work and I think that mommies don’t always get the credit they deserve for it.  So I wrote them this poem.

Actually, I had really meant to get the Mamas in my life some gift baskets with what they need to help them through whole Christmas holiday.  I didn’t get to it, but I thought I’d share the idea in case there’s a lady in your life who deserves it.

There’d be a little package marked “For Christmas Eve” and you’d include some cocoa and  little nip of something vanilla or peppermint marked “Magic, For Cocoa.”  Then, there’d be a package marked “For Christmas Morning,” and that would have something with A LOT of caffeine.  Like coffee or tea, depending on the Mama.  Finally, there would be a bottle of wine labeled “For Christmas Night- Mama’s Christmas Cheer.”  And of course, I’d print this little booklet for them.  Enjoy  😉

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How to Know a Camper


Showerhead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Know what’s awesome? Camping. But if you take awesome and multiply it by spectacular, you get the feeling you have after you take a shower in your own bathroom at your own house after a weekend of camping.

Maybe it’s because I know my feet will still be clean in an hour. (Campers shower, throw flip-flops on and head back outside.). Maybe it’s that I can take my time and not worry about a gray water tank filling up or whether I brought enough quarters to the campground shower to get the conditioner out of my hair. I’m not sure exactly what makes such a mundane, daily task become so absolutely, beautifully blissful after a weekend camping. I am sure that the only comparable feeling is taking ski boots off after a long day of skiing.

Anyway, while in the shower on Monday after arriving home from a Labor Day weekend spent camping, I got to thinking about how some phenomena, like the blissful shower, are specific to camping.

It got me thinking about a few little quirky things about my family and me that are a result of camping. If I noticed these traits on another woman, I’d know she was a fellow camper.

Here are a few – what other ways can you tell someone is a camper even when they aren’t near their tent or camper?

1. Her infant or toddler’s stroller smells like beer. (Strollers have cup holders for a reason, but campground roads are often bumpy and some spillage can occur. Every weekend camping I spill a little adult beverage on the stroller and can never quite get it out and wonder if people in my neighborhood or other parents at the park secretly wonder what is in Buster’s sippy cup.)

2. After a long weekend, it looks like her face, shoulders and feet went on a posh tropical vacation but they left her back, legs, and stomach behind. The tan lines on the feet will likely look like flip-flops and may appear darker due to residual camping dirt. If her children are over 7, she may have a tanned area on each leg between her knees and shorts. This is because after your children are 7 can MAY be able to find time to sit down in daylight while camping. Her husband’s tan lines will be similar but if he has short hair, the term “red neck” can be quite literal and allegorical at the same time.

3. Her children look like they’ve contracted some horrible infectious skin disease, but it’s just mosquito bites and dirt stuck to the roasted marshmallow left on their faces.

4. At sporting events or the park or wherever, when bad weather strikes, she’s prepared for it with a rain poncho, umbrella or other gear she grabs from her car. When she takes out said gear, everyone starts sniffing and asking if something is on fire. Alas, it is just aforementioned gear’s residual campfire odor.

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Motormommy Turns One

I am a horrible writer. This is not a compliment-baiting pity statement, it’s just true. I use too many words, make a lot of grammatical errors and rarely vary my sentence structure. My vocabulary has proved itself less than impressive, too.

The good news is that I now have a year’ s worth of empirical evidence to prove it. Yup, Motor Mommy is officially one year old today. And that’s how I can officially say that writing is HARD.

Here’s a brief review of the highlights of my crappy writing:

It all started with Roughin’ It, about a camping vacation. Of course it was sarcastic and involved a manhattan.

The first post to be viewed over 100 times was “Family Member Driving Me Bonkers,” which you should read in its entirety if at all.

A lot of my mother-in-law’s friends read it and told her about it because they were concerned it was about her. Incidentally, she has never said any of those things about my house or my clothes or my cooking. At least not to my face.

My most popular posts to date are not my funny sarcastic ones, actually. Most read, of course, is my tribute to Mrs. Vera Anderson. That has to do with her popularity, not mine.

Second most popular was First Steps and Last Steps, my post about euthanizing our dog. I was surprised so many people read that one. It was sad. Many people (including grown men) told me it made them cry. Obviously, a blog about death wouldn’t be very fun, but since that was the subject of my top two post, I wonder if there are other not-so-funny topics I should consider.

Of course, my third most popular post wasn’t written by me at all. It was by Motorbrother Ben who refuses to start his own blog. But I may make him guest blog again. Because he is funny.

I did receive some recognition for Motormommy. Figenza vodka retweeted my post about my husband’s new balls; called “Blood Orange Figenza and My Husband’s New Balls.”. And Daily Buzz Moms gave me a shout-out as one of their featured 9 back in December. Alas, I didn’t notice either recognition until months later. I don’t even know what post Daily Buzz Moms featured.

That’s because I’m not doing it for recognition. Don’t get me wrong, I have an ego and it is pleased when I see that a post has 500+ views. But the writing is therapy, for me.

There are very few hobbies in my life that I’ve done for a full year, and I can’t think of anything I’ve done for so long in spite of sucking very badly.

But I can’t seem to stop writing. Being around kids all day, there are many ideas I don’t get to express. Thoughts pile up in my head all day or week or even month sometimes. Then I finally get a second at my computer or my phone and take them out and organize them into piles that make sense. I clean them up and put them put on the line. Then I feel fresh and presentable. It’s a lot more like doing laundry than you might think.

You, dear reader, are the reason I clean my crazy ideas up into words. I’m l
using you, I’m sorry. But you are providing me an invaluable service and in exchange I promise to provide some laughs or insight or at least work on my grammar a little.

Thank you for reading. I know there’s a lot of words and I appreciate the time you make for me in your Internet-viewing time.

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Goodbye Mrs. Anderson

A Camping Queen Holds CourtI bet no one ever thought a jumbo box of sympathy cards, packaged up like Christmas cards, would be a very big seller. But boy, do I wish I could buy a box like that today. Because the world lost a special lady this morning and I know she is going to be missed by a lot of people, and especially by a lot of people I care a lot about.

Anyone who read my post “Reunion-bound” read that we were heading to meet up with a woman (known to most as Grammy), her ten children, most of the ten’s children, most of the ten’s children’s children, and even one of the ten’s children’s child’s brand new baby child, and of course all of the delightful, wonderful stragglers our group of campers picked up along the way.

It was a great trip and there was a lot of buzz about it being Grammy’s last reunion. Maybe I didn’t want to believe that. But it turned out to be true.

I normally only refer to myself, my husband and my pets by their actual names but that doesn’t feel right for this post because I grew up knowing “Grammy,” as Mrs. Anderson. Not sure why, probably just to avoid confusion with the other grandmothers in my life. It was a friendly, respectful title- not as formal as may sound.

As I sit here going through memories of Mrs. Anderson, I can’t come up any one specific moment. It’s a swirling tapestry of memories: of her in her blue choir robe at Dunbar United Church, her and my Grandpa talking and playing cards, talk of dandelion wine, “The Uncles,” a van and cots, the image of my husband carrying off a bottle of scotch at 4 pm for a “date” with her, fancy canes, fishing-type hats, many smiles, her distinctive voice, and many people.

Mostly I remember her kind of always being there while I was growing up except when disasters had struck and I’d overhear she’d travelled somewhere to volunteer with the Red Cross.

To say she lived an amazing, complete life and that she loved many much and was loved much by many is like saying the ocean is kind of big and has some water in it.

I know no one like her nor have I even heard of anyone like her.

I do know that without her not only would I not have all my “pseudo” -cousins and -aunts and -uncles but also a host of other amazing people. These folks, from every walk of life, never would have crossed my path if she wasn’t part of our lives. Many are who they are; some in small ways, some in very big ways, because of her.

Including the love of my life, my husband.

So, goodbye and thank you Mrs. Grammy Anderson, you are very much missed. So glad we just spent one last camping trip with you. I know what many of us will be thinking about today at 4 pm.

I am certain you are enjoying the reunion you’re attending now.

To all of her many family and friends, I’m thinking of you and you’re in my heart today and if there is a silver lining, it’s that I look forward to hearing all of your memories.

Update Thursday August 15: Here is a link to Mrs. Vera Anderson’s Obituary

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