Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Month: January 2013

Crispy-Fried-Pasture

Have you ever had one of those beautiful winter days that provided the perfect weather for burning that city-sized brush pile in your pasture so you called the local sheriff to log your burn and lit that baby at the same time a giant gust of wind arrived and unintentionally set your pasture on fire?
No?
Oh. *clears throat*
Yeah, me neither.

Well, there was brush there. It all happened so fast…

Oops…
“Of course I meant to set the pasture on fire honey, just keep spraying.”
We here at the Funny Farm would like to thank the owners of the legs (a.k.a. Jeff, Sue, Roger, Grant, Sam, and Ian) that stomped out that mess before we had to call the fire department. At least we got a good cardio in before dinner, right? Right?

The Mystery Machine Goes to Waco, Texas

You know what’s great about the Mystery Machine? It’s always ready for an adventure, and if you haven’t guessed by now we are a family of spontaneity. So on the Friday following Christmas when Hubby announced he wanted to go somewhere, we packed a suitcase and told the kids to gather the electronics for a road trip.
Where did we go? Waco, Texas.
I know, I know, you’re wondering what Waco has to offer besides the charred remnants of the famed Branch Davidians complex?
Stuff.
More specifically, museums.
We arrived at 3:30 pm, just in time to make the last tour through the Dr. Pepper Museum. That’s right, an entire museum devoted to soda. I’m sorry, the soda.
The kids had a blast looking at all the antique bottling machines, the 27 foot well in the middle of the bottling area that used to bring in the water for the plant, and the advertising area that housed toys from the last fifty years displaying the Dr. Pepper logo. But their favorite exhibit?
The history of syrup-mixing.
Sound boring? Not when you have a nine-foot-long case where the kids must smell unlabeled syrups and guess what they are. Let me tell you, some of those smells ain’t pretty. And three little boys trying to make each other throw up?
Classic boy fun.

The soda was so good that they wouldn’t even put it down for the picture.

 After the boys enjoyed a fresh Dr. Pepper from the Soda Fountain, which by the way they report is the best soda they ever tasted, we hopped in the van and headed for the hotel.
Free hotels are the best hotels.
Points people, get some and use them. They make spontaneous trips fun. And this free hotel had free cookies in the lobby.
Guess they didn’t know three little boys were coming…
This hotel also had an indoor pool, the upside? Those kids swam for three hours. The downside? The pool room was the size of a large crypt.
My hearing has almost returned.
But everyone slept well, so that’s what counts. Almost. Everyone except me- youngest slept between Andy and I. Oh well, free breakfast had strong coffee.
Are you sensing a pattern?
Free = happy me.
We also rode the elevator for fun. My kids do that. Yep, we’re that family. The one going up and down the escalator for hours at the airport. Good times.
On Saturday, we visited the Texas Ranger Museum. No, not the one chronicling the history of the baseball team. The one celebrating the cowboys turned law-men that protect Texas.
The cases are filled with stories of brave and heroic law-men and their guns. The boys loved it, and their daddy loved it even more. Texas is probably the only state where you could get away with putting up a display for children that requires them to dismantle and reassemble firearms.
No joke.
Real guns, minus the bullets.
I love Texas.

When I looked through our photos from the museum, there were dozens of pictures of guns…but none of our kids. Guess which parent had the camera?

 After five hours of guns and history, we ate a picnic lunch under a giant Live Oak tree. With full bellies and saturated minds, we headed back to Fort Worth. Twenty-four hours of good ole’ family time.
Priceless.
And mostly free:)