Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cowtown, Historic Stockyards, ICE, and the worst race photog EVER!

So before I begin, let's all be sure to notice that the cold weather crops were, in fact, planted into Evan's Garden, but they weren't faring too well. I'm just crossing my fingers they've magically sprung to life since then, as I haven't been out to check on them again since this day...

 Oh, and I moved those prematuring potatoes outside, too. 

You're thinking of sending me hate mail now, aren't you? For neglecting the lettuces and broccoli's of the world? Well, let's just all calm down and take a moment to think about the pugs...

Think of the PUGS, people!
 My son came home from school the other day telling me that I was going to "just LUUUUUUUUUVE" what he drew at school that day, and that the background was the very best.

And he was totally right.

I don't know if they were studying Chinese New Year at school or not, but it was a Chinese dragon with a little pagoda building behind it. Amazeballs.
He totally set up a shop that evening, with a sign that said "$1". And then began to draw "rare" and "ultra rare" versons, for different prices. And then he drew a pink one. And then somehow President Business and Emmett and the Piece de Resistance made it into one and he started sending texts to buyers all throughout the family lines. 
I was the only one who purchased one of these one-of-a-kind drawings, so that gives you guys a chance to grab one while they last! ULTRA RARE! ;)

So, now we come to the part about ice and such.
We left Friday morning for Fort Worth, where we were running in the Cowtown Marathon again. (It's a three year series this time). Emma had been packed for over a month. Not that that fact is pertinent to the story, it's just a fact.
There was thoughts of possible bad weather, but nothing we hadn't run in before (Route 66 of 2013, anyone??), so we packed our cold race gear and headed out.

It was around Gainsville when the snow started to fall.
It was mesmerizing, watching it blow across the highway like little snakes. 

But within an hour, we were passing dozens of cars that had slid off the roads and into various ditches, ravines, and safety railings. After one incident when our stability control went off, we cruised the rest of the way under 20mph, usually around 7. It was scary and tense the whole way there.

The "This-might-be-our-last-family-selfie" selfie. 
It was about now that we found out that our Saturday races were cancelled due to weather. This included the 5 and 10ks we were signed up for. But the Sunday races were still on.

 It was about a 10 hour drive (normally 4) when we finally pulled into Fort Worth, and another hour or so before we got to our hotel in Lake Worth. 

 It was late and cold and we were ready to lay down and eat, but when hubby & I went to check in, the hotel told us that yes, they had our reservation, but no, there were no rooms left. 
Umm. excusemeWHAT?

Mmm hmm.

She told us that there were no rooms, and that she couldnt help us because it was in fact, Hotwire's fault for booking us into a hotel with no rooms available. She also pointed out that among many other things, most of all the hotels in the entire Ft. Worth area were sold out because of a national cheer thing and a national basketball thing, and who cares where are we gonna SLEEP?!?

So, we called Hotwire. And guy #1 felt a panicked mother's wrath and immediately sent me to his supervisor. And Supervisor #1 (who barely spoke English), found us a nice comparable room - in FLORIDA. Ummm, no. When she finally DID find one in Ft. Worth, it was an hour away in ice and she "can't guarantee that there are rooms available, but I can book you right now".

I tried my best to be patient. I really did.
I asked to speak to her supervisor, to which she said that he would do nothing - just the same thing as she did.

(if you could see my face here)

But she finally agreed, and hubby took the phone.
And a nice man (who spoke English), helped us find a room. 
It was right across the street in a hotel that we were told was full, and it was a suite that was more than what we were initially paying for, but he offered to cover the difference and booked it on the phone with the hotel AND us, so we knew there was, in fact, a room for us. 

Did Mary & Joseph use Hotwire? I mean, just sayin'....

So, our faith was renewed in them just a bit, and we were happy to stay for the weekend in our not-supposed-to-be-ours suite. 

The next morning, the ground was covered in no less that 2 inches of ice. In fact, it was so bad, it took us - and about 5 other groups of hotel folk - to literally shovel ourselves out of the parking lot, cheering each other on as one would escape the madness that mother nature had laid on us. 

The main roads were sanded and slushy, so it didn't take us too awful long to get to the packet pickup at the expo. 

Evan finds his daddy on the banner!

Waiting for the expo to start. Team Castro Racing runs the info booth, 
 After the kids made their rounds collecting candy & swag from all the vendors, we headed out to the Historic Stockyards of Ft. Worth. 

This place is REALLY cool, even with ice cold water flooding the streets and drunken cowboys sliding from one pub to the next. 

 Between that photo up there, and the photo down there, was a lady that I fell in love with because I'm pretty sure she was that Madame Levoux that Jack drew in Titanic. You know, the one that dressed up in her finest clothes and jewelry to go to the bar awaiting her true love? 
You can just see the bottom corner of her fur coat in the top photo, and the end of her bag in the second. I totally failed that one, as would be the theme for the whole weekend's pics. :(
But she looked so fancy among the old wooden spindled storefronts and stumbling boot-wearing cowboys. I wanted her story.

The Stockyard Ussie!
 Later that night, Cowtown announced that it was cancelling the marathon & ultra marathon for Sunday, but that they were welcome to race in the half marathon, as that was as much ice-clearing that could be done, so John would end up just running the half, because, well. 

The kids made signs while we awaited the corral time to hit. 
 And John stretched his various muscles.
And his phone.

5 minutes before guntime, he entered his corral and we rushed to an open spot at mile 1 to cheer him on. 

So about that whole worst race photog ever dealio.
Well, I totally blame this one on my sister.
She's been trying to get me to vlog. Which sounds like a gross thing, but it's just a video blog.
So, finally, I thought, Hey! This might be a good time to start that vlog experiment! She's gonna be so excited!!
Only, what actually happened was I captured these AWESOME race photos of hubby!!

Mmmm Hmmm. No, there wasnt that much snow. 
In a very passive agressive way, I'm telling you that I got NO photos of him.
At. ALL. 
Total failure.


If you've ever driven around as the cheering-on marathon spouse, you know the chaos that is road closings and Siri being too stupid to figure it out, only this time it was worse because apparently Ft. Worth is doing construction on 90% of their roads and Siri is ALL screwed up, so we didn't even make it back to the finish line by the time he finished because, well, it was only a half marathon, which gave us NO time to get back because he's too darn fast. And that made it worse for this momma. And I couldn't even vlog for a long time afterwards because, well, potty mouth. 

And poor hubby had to drive, because I was all stressed and ulcering and ready to run away to the land of sun and happy unicorns.

But he did awesome, and our drive home was better, though long.

I'd share the video here, but I think I did it wrong. Do you vlog?? Help a girl out here! I feel like all i did was video my face yappin, and who wants to see that on days when you have to wake up so early for a race that you just wear yesterday's makeup leftovers and call it good?!? Are you supposed to be behind the scenes? I don't know!
And, iphones don't let you rotate the screen while you're recording! So how do you do that?!? 

I think I better stay with blogging...

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In other news...

Let's just call this one the Dummy's Guide to Castro February 2015, or at least, up until now.
Thanks to instagram, my not-ever-enough-storage iphone, and a waterproof point-and-shoot with some messed UP color...
The daily grind - only, preground, pre-sugared, and pre-pared.
But, always tastes better in one of my many rainbow mugs, fo sho.

Evan is shoe tying BOSS now. 

I keep a book in my car at all times. It's what I read in the parking lot when I'm waiting on kids to get out of school. Finally finished this one. And, as I reluctantly started reading it, I got to the point of not leaving it in the car anymore, because I HAD to finish it.
Good read. 

The annual Daddy/Daughter dance night. By FAR the best looking couple in town, just sayin'. 
This was the only picture I got of them this year, due to the fact that my date and I had to leave earlier for our adventure. :(

And that adventure was OSU's ComiCon!
We grabbed Uncle B and wandered around meeting our Bat friends (or enemies? I have no idea...)

This guy, who was running one of the booths there, asked Evan for a photo. 
Well, of COURSE! He was the cutest Batman there!

At one point, we got interviewed for some news program, but it was loud, so I couldn't really hear what she said. My brother and his friends sent us some shots of the interview, which went pretty well, besides the fact that we couldn't hear crap! Pretty sure she asked me about our costumes and we told her that we love Totoro, but whatever.

Now, I KNOW these guys are our nemesis's...

More interview...

A geocaching/photo walk day! 
Enjoy this candid, unposed photo of the crew...

And an afternoon raking leaves for vacation money turns into a leaf rumpus.

Got this tray for a dollar at an estate sale. The plan was to scour it and paint it bright yellow or green, but after the heavy washing, it actually looked pretty cool, so it stayed. 

Instead, we spray painted some rocks for an organic version of tic-tac-toe.

A family bike ride to the pond...

I put these spuds in my hibiscus tree's pot until I could get their potato barrel ready.
Apparently, I wasn't fast enough.

Evan and I testing out the panorama cam - love the "frozen" face he had to hold so it wouldn't blur. He told me in the "president's time", they had to sit for ten minutes to get their pictures taken, so that's why they didn't smile. Because it was too hard to smile for ten minutes.
(True story, as anyone who's ever had wedding photos taken knows!)

Valentine's Day party at school!

 Evan's fav onigiri - the office ladies love (and request) them all year.

Two girls, two piggies, two pandas, and fox footies. 
Doesn't get much more fab than that?

The start to our President's Day - No school. 

Annual birthday breakfast at ihop for Emma's 12th!

After the school dance, a few of her friends stayed over and the next morning woke up earrrrly to go hit the garage sales in search of items for their own Flea Market Flip. - Emma's new favorite show.
In fact, our neighbors across the street, knowing this, gave her an antique table for her birthday that she could redo on her own! SO sweet.

Since there was only one sale that morning, the girls had to combine their finds and came together to make vases with book pages modge-podged around them. They even had battery powered tea light candles to put inside each one. 

The snow came one morning, and we headed down to the pond to sled down the hill.
It wasn't 5 minutes later, the winds picked up and started pelting us with sleet.
Pretty sure I stood there in pain just to see if the exfoliation would be beneficial...

Sideways sleet!

We headed home soon after - the boys on the 4W and us girls in the heater.

Some more snow pics via instagram:

And a SNOW DAY!!! kept the kids home with me yesterday, so as anyone snowed in would do, we ventured out for some cadillac queso at MJ's!

And now, I've used my morning sitting here at the computer and I must, must, must get this place picked up before my life group comes over tonight and gets lost in the piles of snow pants and gloves gone wild!


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