Saturday, September 4, 2010

New York trip, Part 2

(alternate title) The State of New York Needs to Get a Clue on Street Signs

After starting off in Woodstock it was time for us to follow the race directions through the backwoods of upstate New York to where we would exchange with the first van and start our runs. We had an iPhone with GPS, we had our course directions, so we were good to go. Or so we thought.

The first turn out of Woodstock is when we realized that New York needed some help with their street signs. The directions read like this:

Depart exchange going south on CR-27A/CR-33. Ummm, how exactly is one street two separate County Roads?

Or maybe Turn right onto SR 212/Tinker Street. State road number and street name. Got it. Except the street sign to this particular road didn't read EITHER SR 212 or Tinker Street.

Then there was our favorite like Turn left onto CR-40/SR-28/Wittenburg Road. Yep, you've got it: 3 different street names for the same street. Aaaand usually none of them were on an actual sign that might just help 6 people from across the country navigate their way.

By the time we reached the first major exchange, we were all quite put out at New York streets. I guess they just gave up after labeling streets in New York City and decided to let the rest of the state fend for itself. But we made it, eventually, to the Mountain Valley Resort. And we know it was a resort because the sign said so.

(These photos have not been doctored in any way. I swear.)

Here's the obligatory "Awww, aren't we cute standing together in the New York Catskills?" picture.

Jason was first up in our van, and he was raring to go. (As you can see.)

As were these guys.

This girl (nicknamed Rainbow Brite) became the nemesis of one of our team members. At times it was his vow to never get passed by Rainbow Brite that kept him going.

Jason had a beautiful run, and he started off strong...

Then progressed to "Holy Crap it's freaking hot out here and the humidity is killer!"

Don't worry, dear teammate, we shall cheer you on from our air conditioned Secret Service Suburban.
We shall cheer you constantly, we shall remain vigilant and offer you plenty of fluids, we shall not rest-- Oh, look! The most picturesque cemetery we've ever seen! We must run across the meadow and take pictures.

Oops, there goes Jason while we gawked. Back to the car!

Jason made it, declared that it had been no fun, and then showed off his new blisters. (Don't worry, we will have pictures in a later post.) He took advantage of a nearby stream to cool off his newly-blistered feet.

The others all ran their first legs (we'll skim past them, because it's not their blogs) until it was my turn and due to construction and a detour, we almost didn't make it in time. But I threw on my stuff and was outta there.

I wish I could claim sleep deprivation at this point, but I have to be honest; it was plain silliness.

And apparently it was catching.

Whew! 1/3 of the way done.

Now to find some food in the town of New Palz, where several restaurants informed us they were out of food (Yikes!) and I felt left out because I didn't have dreadlocks. (Yes, there were that many people with dreadlocks.)

Well, that's enough for this post. Soon I'll put up Part 3 of our NY trip. (Isn't it just like sitting through your neighbor's vacation slides? No, you can't leave yet. *locking and barring the door*)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New York trip, Part 1 (3 months later)

I'm a little late (ok, 3 months late) in sharing about the little jaunt the hubby and I took to New York. Things are calm for the moment in the Theler House of Chaos, so I thought I'd try and get caught up. (Oh, the pressure! I must be witty to make up for my many months of neglect. *stress*)

Drum Roll...

Our Trip to New York

The main excuse reason we planned the trip was to run in the New York Ragnar relay race. We even talked four other friends into going with us. The race began at Woodstock and ended some 180+ miles in Yonkers. As a bonus, the race was close to where Jason spent his high school years, and so he wanted to visit the area and people. So here's the photo montage of Jason reminiscing about where he grew up.

*sigh* The bridges...

*sigh* The house where he used to live, complete with the basketball hoop of many fond memories. The house was actually up for sale.
Sorry, sweetie. Don't even think it.

*sigh* The endless photos of the woods.

Explanation: I needed pictures to help me out with the setting of my Enchanted Forest. Forgive me if we have, ahem, almost as many photos of the forest as of the race. Tell me you don't feel "Enchanted Forest" immediately from these pictures. Okay, I plead temporary insanity from so much green vegetation. We don't have a lot of that where I live.

We enjoyed our visit with the wonderful Morgan family who let us invade their home and take over their van for a day as we drove all over creation. This is also when we fell in love with GPS, or else we might still be lost.

Next was the race. We made it to Woodstock, with its small town feel and plethora of little tie dye shops. At the starting line we met the other half of our team, a bunch of really neat people who hailed from all over: New Jersey, England, Texas, and Los Angeles.

Here's the required team pic.

Trust me when I say both halves of the team were relieved that the other half was normal. Because there were several other teams there that were a whole lot more...colorful.

You can see our intrepid team captain in the center, with the number 4. You may also notice some of the more colorful runners, like 136 on the left sporting a fedex box on his head, or 167 on the right with yellow tights and a mask, or the guy in the grass skirt next to him.

This is just a random photo that serves as a great case for not taking pictures inside a neon orange tent.

This is also a great place to end this post so it doesn't get too long.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the 3 part series of "Our New York Trip." Next will be Part 2, or "The State of New York Really Needs to Get a Clue on Street Signs."

Sunday, July 25, 2010


This video touched me the other day, and I just had to share. Every so often I need a little reminder to realign some of my priorities. If you can, take 5 minutes to watch.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Handwriting - a poem

During the summer I make the kids do schoolwork, stuff like math, reading, and handwriting. Today for his daily handwriting assignment, Turbo wrote a poem.

by Turbo Theler

Handwriting O handwriting,
I hate you, you stink!
I wish I could wash you away in the sink.

Handwriting O handwriting,
I hate you, you stink!
I'd rather take baths with a man-eating shark,
Or pet ten porcupines,
Than wrestle the handwriting my mother assigns.

Handwriting O handwriting,
I hate you, you stink!
I wish I could wash you away in the sink.
Handwriting O handwriting,
I hate you, you stink!

At least his handwriting was nice.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Potpourri of Theler happenings

It's been so long since I blogged regularly that the next few times might be a bit hodge podge as I try to share what's been happening. And what better way to do that that with a list? (Yea for lists!)

1. Most recently, Turbo reached a childhood/parenting milestone: he hit a golf ball through a neighbor's window. Quote: "It never went that far when I used my own golf clubs!" Yes, he was using daddy's clubs. (Don't worry, it was with permission.)

2. Professor got his feet wet in the wonderful world of Shakespeare. He played the part of Horatio in his class's (very abridged) production of Hamlet.

Hamlet's death scene. Professor is the one not about to croak.

In carpool one day I got the 6th grade view on Hamlet. "I'm like, the only one who doesn't die." Then all the kids joined in a chant that had apparently been said before. Professor listed a character, and the other children pronounced his/her fate. Hamlet: dead. Claudius: dead. Gertrude: dead. Ophelia: dead. Rosencrantz: dead. Gildenstern: dead. Polonius: dead. Laertes: dead.

3. Jason was awarded the PTA Principal of the Year for the state this year. Here's a newspaper article about it, plus a great picture. (Hands off, he's mine!) He was embarrassed. I even saw him blush, which doesn't happen very often. When neighbors asked what cool prize he got, they were way impressed when I told them he got a plaque. With his name on it, even.

Note: He is an awesome principal, who does all sorts of fun things, like sleep on top of the school, swim in green jello, and wrestle in a Sumo costume.

4. Dad & the boys had a great time at the Father & Sons campout. The kids played several camping-type boy games, complete with war paint.

I think the dads had just as much, if not more fun, than the boys. After all, it's so boring to start a fire with matches or anything "normal." No, it's way better to rig up a rocket on a line to shoot right into a massive tower of gasoline soaked wood so that it explodes in flame.

5. I survived the writers conference that I was in charge of. We had 450+ attendees and it was a smashing success. In fact, it went so well they asked me to do it again for 2011. I said yes.

6. We welcomed a new nephew into the family. Now when my kids beg for a baby, we can babysit baby J. (I'm liking that plan.)

7. I am neck deep in serious rewrites for my latest book. And if you don't know what serious rewrites look like, here's a peek of one scene. Note the lack of much type-written sections (which would be my rough draft).

8. School is out for the summer. And in the fall Professor will go to Jr. High! It's official: I'm old.

9. Jason and I went for a week-long trip to New York for a relay race, to visit friends, and spend a little time in the city. Pictures and full narrative to follow in a future blog post.

10. We finally gave in and let Princess get a pet. She was the proud owner of 2 goldfish she bought with her very own money. She named them Ben and Lisa. Ben is doing well, but Lisa not so well. Lisa the First died, much to Princess' dismay. A few days later, Lisa the Second followed in the footsteps of her predecessor. Lisa the Third was also found belly up after a couple days in the Fish Bowl of Death.

And still Ben swims around and around, looking far too innocent.

We've decided Ben is a Serial Killer goldfish, and will have to live out the rest of his days alone.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Back on the Blog Wagon

I know, I know. I've been the biggest blog slacker. *slap my own hand* School ends this week, and so that means I will likely need to decompress and laugh at the situations that will arise with all 3 kidlets at home and with each other ... all day... every day.

Here is a photo to commemorate the return of the The Theler Five to active blog status.

*I think I'll hang on to this to show at his wedding reception. As a poster.*

Kidlet quote of the day: I was discussing boycotting something with Professor and Turbo. Not wanting to miss out on the conversation, Princess chimed in that she would "girlcott" it too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lady Gaga--author style

Here's a peek into some of what I've been doing the last couple months. This is just a small part. :) (No, I'm not the one in the wig.)

We showed this at the LDStorymakers Writers Conference last weekend. It's always good to get in touch with your goofy side.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Weird Wednesday

**This post is from last Wednesday on my other blog, and I just now realized I forgot to post it here. So, enjoy!**

I think every once in a while it would be fun to post a Weird Wednesday. This is when I get to list (Yea! Lists!) things that make you go, "Hmmm."

  • The dot over the letter "i" is called a tittle.
  • Harry Potter Puppet Pals is one of my kids' all-time favorite Youtube videos. Warning: the song has a tendency to stick in your head all day.
  • A rat can last longer without water than a camel.
  • Yes, you really should try yoga with your cat. can show you how.
  • The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb. **Apparently, this is a myth, but it's still fun.**
  • Someone actually took up Jerry Seinfeld on this statement, "Maybe they should have a toilet paper museum. Would you like that? So we can see all the toilet paper advancements down through the ages. Toilet paper in the Crusades. The development of the perforation. The first six-pack." Voila! The Virtual Toilet Paper Museum.
  • The housefly hums in the middle octave, key of F.
  • Ever wanted to build your own Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie? (And who hasn't?) This site gives instructions, information, and--don't miss it-- testimonials. (I almost fell off my chair at the foil undergarment.)
  • If you toss a penny 10000 times, it will not be heads 5000 times, but more like 4950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom.
  • Oh, the endless fun you're missing out by throwing away your Dryer Lint.
  • Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
  • If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes. **Yep, this is a myth, too. But I'm leaving it because I'd like to think that all horse statue makers belong to a secret association that determines things like this.**
  • Goethe couldn't stand the sound of barking dogs and could only write if he had an apple rotting in the drawer of his desk.
  • 'Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand. (You're trying it now, aren't you?)

I hope that leaves you enlightened (or at least entertained). Have a great Wednesday!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Those teaching moments

In parenting you often hear about taking advantage of the Teaching Moments. Wouldn't it be nice if life had a notification sound for when it is a Teaching Moment, like when you get a text? You know, you could be in the middle of juggling homework, dinner, and a phone conversation. Then from the air you hear Beep-Beep-Bedeep. And instantly you know this is a Teaching Moment.

I think the newest iPhone should have that feature--a Teaching Moment App. (Steve Jobs, contact me later and we'll chat.)

Even though I don't have a Teaching Moment notification, I did manage to catch a Teaching Moment a few weeks ago. It was a "Teach the Evils of Buying Things on Credit" Teaching Moment. It went over like a lead balloon, but Teaching Moments are often like that.

Professor and Turbo love the video game system they got for Christmas, but since the system cost so much, they didn't get a lot of other games to go with it. One day, Professor wanted to go to the used game store and spend some of his saved allowance money. He approached Turbo with the idea of splitting the cost of the game, and then both could play it. This would have been a great idea except Turbo spends his allowance as quickly as his lungs convert oxygen into carbon dioxide.

It was discovered that Turbo did not have enough money to pay for half of the game. In order for him to be able to play it, he had to pony up half the price, which he didn't have. Turbo approached the bank (i.e. mom) to see if he could borrow against his next allowance payment. Mom thought for a moment about the state of the world's economies because of rampant debt, and said, "No."

The weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth began.

And, as happens in Teaching Moments such as this, Turbo did not appreciate the comment that next time he wants to blow $6 on a bowl of Dippin' Dots, maybe he should reconsider what else that $6 could buy. Good thing Turbo doesn't actually have laser vision, or mom would have gone up in flames.

But I bet he thinks twice about those Dippin' Dots next time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Silent Monks Can Sing

For your viewing/listening pleasure.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Weird TV Habits

Other people may watch reality shows, or dramas, or even sitcoms. If I do watch TV--and that's pretty rare--it's usually something like:

In Dirty Jobs the host goes out and spends a day "on the job" at the dirtiest jobs imaginable. Some of my favorites are when he cleaned out a huge tank at a sewage treatment plant and was hip deep in you-know-what, when he ground up fish bones & guts to make the special food at a maggot farm, and when he helped along the breeding process at a turkey farm.

Depending on the day I might watch this instead:

Man Vs. Wild - a crazy British ex-special forces man shows you how to survive in the most extreme conditions. And just about every episode involves him using his pants as flotation devices. So if I have to sky dive from a helicopter onto a remote, deserted island, I better be wearing pants. And have a knife.

Or maybe I'll watch:

Survivorman is Man Vs. Wild on crack and without the camera crew or British accent. If I got stuck in the wilderness with any other person on the planet, it would have to be this guy. And Jason. So I guess I'd have to be stuck with two other people. On second thought if it was one other person then it would have to be my hubby, because then at least we could starve or die of exposure together, right?

And really the only reason for this whole post is because I had to find some way to tie in to this poster:

Ha ha ha ha!

(And now everyone knows I'm a Survival/Lord of the Rings Nerd.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Man Rules

*My hubby forwarded this to me, knowing I would get a kick out of it.*

The Man Rules

We always hear 'the rules' From the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side.

These are our rules! Please note.. these are all numbered '1' ON PURPOSE!

1. Men are NOT mind readers. ( FIRST & FOREMOST RULE)

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one

1. You can either ask us to do something, Or tell us how you want it done. Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' We will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as Football or Hockey.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Things I Learned in 2009

I know 2009 was so last week, but I feel like I should take a post (or 3 or 4) to reminisce on the good old days of last year. And--lucky you--I'm blogging about it. :)

So, without further ado...

1. When the staff at the dentist's office keeps asking you if you're *sure* you want to do all the dental work in one visit, perhaps you should rethink.

2. You can often do more than you think you can. Just focus on one step at a time.

3. Stage 2 dehydration is not fun at all. In a completely bad, horrible, and no-good way.

4. My furnace room is possessed by an invisible something that loves to blow out the pilot light of the hot water heater on the coldest days of the month after I've worked up a good (and stinky) sweat at the gym, then keeps blowing out the light every time I relight it, but graciously steps out of the way when the plumber tries, so that he says, "It worked just fine for me. That'll be $100."

5. Do the more important things first, because days are like pancakes--stuff stacks up as you go and you might not get to the important things once you're drowning in syrup.

6. The computer ink industry is a total racket. $200+ for ink?! Here, let me hand over a limb or my first born while I'm at it.

7. If you find yourself communicating face to face in 140 character increments, then maybe it's time to step away from Twitter--for a little while.

8. Take time to dance and sing often. The acoustics in the shower are pretty good, and if you sing in the car, the people around you don't know you're off-key. Or singing along with Madonna.

9. Cultivate gratitude for all your blessings, because you never know when the rug will be yanked out from under you and you're on your knees.

10. It is possible to eat almost 3 lbs. of sugar snap peas in a day--by yourself. *cough* *cough*

What did you learn last year?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~ Harold Whitman

This is your year!

Happy 2010!