Monthly Archives: June 2014

Five Perks of Being Adopted


I was adopted by my parents when I was four-weeks old in the state of Missouri.  No, I don’t remember the occasion, but I wish I did because it was apparently a great cause for celebration in our family and I really hate to miss a good party.

Reliable sources say my adoption didn’t happen like this:


“Welcome to McDonald’s.  Can I take your order?’

“Yes, I’d like one small female ginger infant, a large order of fries, and Diet Coke to go, please.”

Can you imagine how long the drive-thru line would be?

I don’t know the identity of my birth parents as Missouri at that time was a closed records state.  Some facts that were given to my adoptive parents were that my birth parents were in their late 30s when I was born, my mother was a ginger, and my father was a blonde.  My bloodline includes a smorgasbord of Irish, Scottish, English and French blood.  Sounds like I might be related to Braveheart.

Being adopted can be a burden at times for some adopted children.  I never have understood this because I have found there are many perks to being adopted.

1.  I don’t have to claim my relatives.

Not that I have actually done this or anything, but if a relative is especially annoying, I can honestly say to people, “Oh, him? No, we aren’t related.”  Because truthfully we aren’t related.  At least blood-wise.  But once again, it’s not like I would ever do such a thing.  Really.  That would be rude.

2.  The allure of the unknown.

Since the identity of my birth family is unknown to me, I used to fantasize when I was younger that my birth parents must have been some famous star-crossed lovers that had to keep their love a secret by giving their love child (that would be me) up for adoption.  With my fantasy also came the part where they realized that they really DID want me and would come and take me back to live with them in their mansion with the huge built-in swimming pool in the Hollywood Hills.  They would share custody with my birth parents, of course.  This fantasy seemed to take place more often in instances when I was miffed at my mom for making me clean my room or something completely unreasonable such as that.

3.  The novelty.

Being adopted upgraded my status rating when I was younger simply because none of my friends or classmates could claim that distinction.  Being adopted seemed hip, cool, unique.  And believe me, with the way my hair looked during my middle school years, anything to upgrade my social ranking was welcomed.

4.  The shock value.

If you haven’t figured out from my blog name, I am a ginger.  My adoptive mom, who is a blonde, can be a funny gal at times.  When I was young, people would see us together and they would often ask me, “Where did you get your red hair?”  As prompted by mom, I would reply, “From my mother.”  Of course the look of confusion as they glanced from my blonde mom to me, the little ginger,was priceless.

5.  I got a family that chose me.  

I consider myself extremely blessed to be adopted because my adoptive parents made the choice to bring me into the fold to raise and nurture me.  And they did a terrific job of it, if I do say so myself.  We didn’t have a house in the Hollywood Hills, or a pool in the backyard, but we did have a home filled with love and faith.  That’s all a family truly needs.

Marti 1 month old

This is me shortly after I came to live with my forever family.  Add 100+ pounds, freckles, and more hair and that’s pretty much how I look now.

Marti Ernie Dad Sept 66

My brother, dad and I shortly after my adoption.  They look happy and I look like I could benefit from a nap.

We came, we saw, we conquered–Kansas City!


Mr. Caffeinated Ginger and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary last week.  I know you are thinking, “What?!  There is no way that young thing could possibly have been married 27 years!  Twenty-six years, maybe…but 27?  No way!!”

It’s true.  I was young when we married.  I was like 10 years old or something like that, so I really am not old.  Did you hear me? I am not old.

Now that we got that out of the way, I will tell you that the hubster and I took a weekend away from Bruno the Wonder Dog, the cats, and the teenagers.  Brave souls, we are.  We headed to Kansas City to enjoy a weekend of KC Royals baseball, shopping, and barbecue.

Our first stop was Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que.  Oh my goodness–that stuff was perfected by the barbecue gods–I kid you not!  We ordered way too much food, and then proceeded to finish most of it, which made us miserable and begging for Maalox, but it was soooo worth it!  I highly recommend it if you are in the KC area.

Then (drumroll, please) we went to The Mecca–Nebraska Furniture Mart.

June 2014 Kaw Lake and KC Trip 014

If you are not familiar with this granddaddy of all furniture stores, you may think, “Hey, seen one furniture store, seen them all.”  Umm, no.  No, no, no, no, you haven’t.  This place is HUGE.  Seriously–I don’t know how many football fields big this place is but it is unbelievable.  There is every sort of furniture available as well as the lamps, occasional tables, and art to go with it.  Plus appliances. And electronics.  And because it basically takes you hours and even days to mosey through the store, there are places for sustenance such as See’s Candy and Quizno’s Sandwiches so you can keep up your strength to find that perfect furniture ensemble or to keep you alive because you are lost and can’t find your way out of the store.

We had recently given our basement family room furniture to our oldest daughter who currently is rooming with two friends while attending college. So my mission was to find as perfect TV-watching- in-front-of-the-fire furniture as I could find.  The amount of choices in such a store can be truly overwhelming.  I drug the hubster around the store for so long that he finally admitted defeat and found a comfy couch to sit upon and check his work e-mails while I kept up the hunt for the elusive furniture.  FINALLY, after a two-hour search, I made up my mind and ordered a furniture set centered around this beauty:

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A chair with an ottoman!  Is this not the perfect sit-in-front-of-the-fire-while-reading-a-book-with-Bruno-and-a-cat-on-my-lap chair??

Furniture shopping was now checked off our to-do list, so we headed to Legends for some retail therapy and then onto the Mariott near Country Club Plaza.  The Plaza has some good dining options, but I already had one picked out–The Cheesecake Factory AKA Nirvana for the Taste Buds.  I’ll be right up front though–I don’t really go for the food.  My mode of operation when it pertains to TCF is to order an appetizer so I can appear to be eating a balanced meal to the naked eye, however, I am really only there for the tropical iced tea and the cheesecake.  True confessions, people.

June 2014 Kaw Lake and KC Trip 032


We shared a piece of the Kahlua Cocoa Coffee cheesecake and it didn’t disappoint.  The hubster was too full from eating his meal (rookie!), so I had to finish most of the cheesecake by myself.  Too bad, so sad.

The next day we went to see the Kansas City Royals play some good old American baseball.  It was college day at the game and the featured college was one of my favorites–Wichita State University.  I am a big college basketball fan and the WSU Shockers have been shocking the nation the past couple of years with their skills.  When we drove into the parking lot, I caught sight of one of their team’s starters, Ron Baker, enjoying some tailgating with his family. My youngest daughter (not me!) has a big crush on this boy, so of course I had to snap a picture:

June 2014 Kaw Lake and KC Trip 033


Ron Baker and his teammates Tekele Cotton and Fred VanFleet threw the ceremonial first pitch of the game.


The Royals have a great ball park–very clean and family friendly.  The Mariners ended up winning the game, but we (and my toes) had a great time anyway.

June 2014 Kaw Lake and KC Trip 042


That night after eating dinner at a cute little sidewalk cafe on the Plaza and doing some interesting people-watching, we somehow ended up back at the Cheesecake Factory and ordered the Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate cheesecake.  I would show you a picture of that scrumptious delicacy, but we ate it too fast for me to snap its portrait.

On Sunday we spent money at Cabela’s and some more at Legends before going back to Nebraska Furniture Mart to pick up our furniture.  The cool chair I ordered was not in stock  and was going to have to be delivered to our house in a couple of weeks, which was probably a good thing because I think our truck ended up at capacity.

June 2014 Kaw Lake and KC Trip 049


We made it home with everything intact, the teenagers and pets were all alive and well, and the house was still standing.  What more could we want?

Blessed, we are.

Bursitis?? Whatcha talkin’ bout, Willis?


Yesterday I faced another fear–the chiropractor.  Even though my parents have been going to the chiropractor ever since I can remember and I also have friends that benefit from the treatment, I still have always had the image of this in my mind:

Chiro three stooges


Cracking, popping, my head being twisted off at my neck…I don’t think so.  I can do that just by wrestling with my kids.  I’ll  just continue to live with my sore back and hips, thank you very much.  It’s got to be better than this:

chiro rambo


But as I have increased in years (I refuse to say gotten older), my aches and pains seem to have multiplied.  My lower back, both hips, and the lovely plantar fasciitis that reared its ugly head a couple of years ago were starting to take their toll.  Getting out of bed and hobbling around in the mornings like an 80-year-old was a mainstay.   After asking friends for chiropractor recommendations, I finally decided to look my chiropractor phobia right in the face.

The chiropractor I selected was very nice, put me at ease quickly and listened to all of my woes and complaints.  After examining me and my symptoms, he diagnosed my hip problem as bursitis.

Bursitis?  Isn’t that something that old people get??  I am not old.

The doctor said yes, it is a common complaint especially with women, blah, blah, in their 40s, blah, blah, who’ve had children, blah, blah, who are doing physical activity (such as running) that maybe they shouldn’t do, blah, blah.

Ugh and double ugh.

I decided I don’t like this doctor.

Not really.  Because he is kind of cute–Curly of The Three Stooges he is not.

After he adjusted me, which thankfully didn’t contain as much popping and cracking as I feared and fortunately my spine was kept intact, he gave me a bunch of stretches and exercises to accomplish daily as well as a to-do list that involves ice, a foam roller, no flip flops, and a trip to the podiatrist for orthotics.  No flip flops?! Orthotics?!   I might as well go shopping for a pair of these while I can still get around without assistance:



Sigh.  This advancing in age stuff is for the birds. Truly.  I know it’s just beginning, too.  First, there was my perfect eyesight which left the station a few years ago and stranded me with bifocals.  Then there was that automatic weight gain that seem to come with my 40s even though my eating and exercise habits were the same. Oh, and there is that “facial hair” of which no one bothered to caution me.  (Someone come pluck that if I ever get disabled, please.)

However, I know that things could be a lot worse and I need to look at it as “the cup is half-full.”  Many people would be thankful to have my very minor physical complaints.  And there is a bright side to all of this–the cute chiropractor wants to see me again next week.  Shhh…don’t tell my husband…


Episode 2 of Summer Camping 2014: Bruno and the Boat

Episode 2 of Summer Camping 2014:  Bruno and the Boat

For Father’s Day, the father in our household wished to go camping.  Our first train of thought was to leave Bruno the Wonder Dog at home because of his questionable behavior the last time we went camping.   Our son was not going with us because he had lifeguard duties at the city pool, so I had outlined all Bruno-related duties for him to take care while we were gone.

But the father decided at the last minute that Bruno needed to go with us.  The daughter and I were not keen on this idea since we were still traumatized from all of the barking and travel-induced vomiting that we experienced with Bruno on the last trip.  However, apparently the father’s one vote trumped our two votes (he must be using that “new math”), and Bruno was added to the itinerary.

Much to our glee and surprise, Bruno did not experience any car sickness on the way to the lake.  Hooray!  And, even though the campground was at capacity, there were far less kids with bicycles from which Bruno had to protect us with his ever-present barking.  Hallelujah!

Bruno had a great camping trip.  He helped us play Uno by making sure the cards didn’t blow off the picnic table:

Marti's iPhone pics June 2014 106


We took lots of walks for him to explore all the new scents and scenery:

Marti's iPhone pics June 2014 098

Bruno loved the feel of the breeze against his ears as we took a drive:

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Here is Captain Bruno on his maiden voyage on the USS Caffeinated Ginger:

Marti's iPhone pics June 2014 119

 I think that someone has been watching too much Titanic:

Bruno Titanic

All in all, it was a much more pleasant trip except for running out of gas on the boat and almost dying as we crashed into the rocks.  Oh, and there was that huge thunderstorm that swept through camp the first night and drenched everything we forgot to bring inside.  Then, of course, there is the fact that Bruno did “toss his cookies” on the way home and had to be hustled into the house for an immediate after-camping bath.

But, hey, no trip can be remembered without a few “stories,” right?

Marti's iPhone pics June 2014 113

Happy Camping!